Huawei has received a subpoena from the US Commerce Department, this is part of their probe into Huawei’s transactions with five countries that face export restrictions from the US. These countries include Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan. According to a report out of the New York Times, the Commerce Department is demanding that Huawei turn over all of their information on the export or re-export of US technology to these five countries, within the last five years. It’s important to note here that this subpoena isn’t a criminal one, but an administrative one. And that Huawei has not been accused of any wrongdoing just yet. Huawei also said in a statement to the New York Times that they are “committed to complying with laws and regulations in countries” where they operate.
Back in March, the US blocked sales of American technology to ZTE over similar issues. ZTE which is a smaller rival to Huawei, and one of the larger smartphone makers in the US, only had a brief export ban. As officials worked with the company to ease the ban. Huawei has declined to speak on the ongoing investigation, which is pretty much what you’d expect. Currently, there’s no word on what actions the US may take against Huawei. But they could seek to place an export ban on Huawei, or worse. Which would cause some major issues for Huawei and telecom networks around the world. As Huawei is a big part of the wireless networks in the US and many other countries. Huawei makes a good amount of hardware that is placed on cell towers, as well as small cells.
This investigation may turn out to have no implications on Huawei. As of right now, the US Commerce Department is simply probing the company to see what transactions have been done with them and the countries which have export restrictions from the US. Huawei does have a rather small footprint in the US, as far as smartphones go. And of course an export ban on the company would definitely hurt them. However, Huawei is no small company, bringing in $60 billion in revenue back in 2014.