Huawei, under investigation, could face a U.S. export ban

Huawei, under investigation, could face a U.S. export ban
Earlier this year, Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE was hit with a U.S. export ban that prevented it from receiving key hardware and software needed to build smartphones. The U.S. Commerce Department placed the ban on ZTE after the company failed to comply with punishments that it agreed to follow. And the whole affair was related to the company's decision to ignore U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea by doing business with the two countries.

And now it is Huawei's turn on the hot seat. According to a report published Friday, Huawei has been under investigation since 2016 for ignoring U.S. sanctions on sales to certain countries. This investigation explains why Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is being held in Canada, facing extradition to the U.S. Meng, the daughter of Huawei's founder, allegedly was caught plotting to use the global banking system to help the company do business with Iran.

Huawei could face a U.S. export ban of its own. Unlike ZTE, however, the company designs its own chipsets, which are manufactured by TSMC. While Huawei has denied that it is working on its own Android alternative, rumors of a KirinOS date back to 2015.

The U.S. government has been warning allies not to use Huawei products, including networking equipment for the build out of 5G networks. Earlier this year, the U.S. government quietly told AT&T and Verizon not to do business with Huawei, killing the plans both carriers had to carry the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. Even without being allowed to sell its phones through the four major U.S. carriers, Huawei has become the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. It also is among the top global providers of networking equipment.

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