DOJ is investigating Huawei for violating Iran sanctions

by Garry Watts April 26, 2018, 6:45
DOJ is investigating Huawei for violating Iran sanctions

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating Chinese phone-maker Huawei over whether it violated US sanctions against Iran, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Today's report says that the Justice Department investigation deals with allegations that Huawei violated USA sanctions against Iran.

Analysts said a worst-case scenario could entail Huawei suffering the same fate as smaller Chinese rival ZTE which has lost access to US -made components as well as Google Android software in a similar probe.

The investigation comes one month after the agency reached a $430 million settlement with Chinese phone-maker ZTE for also violating USA sanctions with Iran. ZTE had previously reached a settlement with the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security, and pleaded guilty as part of a sanctions-violations agreement with the Justice Department.

The Journal report gave no details about the investigation. A Huawei spokesman declined to comment.

A Justice probe would come on the back of subpoenas issued to the company by the US Commerce and Treasury Departments over sanctions-related issues, according to the Journal.

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Huawei was founded in 1988 by former Chinese army engineer Ren Zhengfei, leading to congressional concerns over Chinese military and government influence at the company. The company is also the world's No. 3 maker of smartphones.

The US has taken a recent stance against Huawei's products.

Major US telecoms companies have already steered clear of the two Chinese firms, sometimes on the strong suggestions of US officials. Then, consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. stopped selling Huawei phones, laptops and smartwatches.

Huawei's struggle against the United States government seems to have taken yet another turn.

Huawei maintains research and development facilities in Texas, New Jersey, California and four other US states, all of which provide technology for Huawei's global operations.

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