Huawei being investigated by DOJ for violating US sanctions against Iran
It seems that major US carriers Verizon Wireless and AT&T are not the only ones being investigated by the United States Department of Justice this month. It turns out that Huawei is also under investigation by the agency, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, and it has something to do with whether the Chinese tech giant was guilty of violating US sanctions against Iran.
It is safe to say that the third biggest phone maker in the world does not exactly have a good working relationship with the US government right now. Huawei had grand plans for the US mobile market this year, but those plans have since been bulldozed, with carrier partners Verizon Wireless and AT&T and even retail partner Best Buy backing out of deals to push the Chinese mobile brand’s products.
Furthermore, high ranking officials of federal agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA) have spoken before Congress, essentially warning US citizens not to buy electronic devices produced by Huawei, for national security purposes. But Huawei is bravely soldiering on -- nearly a month ago, the company had officially unveiled its newest flagship offerings, the P20 and the P20 Pro, and is partnering with Amazon, Newegg, and other web retailers in order to sell its devices to American consumers.
With regards to the DOJ investigation, nobody knows just yet just how deep it has been going so far. If the Department however concludes that Huawei has indeed violated US sanctions against Iran, it spell further doom for the Chinese phone maker (in the form of criminal penalties). For some context, some time last year, another Chinese tech giant, ZTE, had to pay $892 million in fines after it was found to be exporting US technology to Iran.
Huawei is actually not a stranger to experiencing some US pressure. Back in 2012, a congressional report had named the company (as well as ZTE) as potential tools for state sponsored espionage, or worse, sabotage. According to a number of US officials, Beijing could put itself in a position to order the tech companies to manufacture various forms of telecommunications equipment that can be used for disabling comms, spying, or even launching cyber attacks.
Both Huawei and ZTE continue to flatly deny the charges for a number of years now. The two tech giants have managed to carve some success in other countries (without any government pressure), but in America, it appears that their troubles will not be ending soon.