This really shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, Huawei has been in the US government’s cross hair perhaps longer than ZTE. After the latter was slapped with a crippling sanction for violating the US’ export sanctions against Iran, it was really only a matter of time before Huawei gets the same treatment. Huawei is now reported to be under investigation by the US Department of Justice for the very same reasons and, considering Huawei’s luck, it might get the same verdict as ZTE.
The US forbade export of communications technology to Iran as part of its sanction against certain regimes, including North Korea. ZTE was found to have violated that sanction and was fined a hefty $1.2 billion last year. The new sanction, which banned export of any US hardware or software technology to ZTE, was imposed after the US government determined that the company lied about the steps it took to correct its actions or punish those involved in violating the sanctions.
Huawei is hardly a stranger to pressure from the US government and this is just the latest in a string of efforts to discredit the Chinese OEM. It started years ago with the accusation that the Chinese government uses companies like Huawei and ZTE to spy on other countries like the US.
Depending on how things turn out, Huawei might still end up in a better spot than ZTE. Unlike the latter, Huawei isn’t completely dependent on US technologies and makes its own mobile processor.