DOJ probing Huawei over possible sanctions violations: report

DOJ probing Huawei over possible sanctions violations: report
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The Department of Justice is investigating Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei over whether it violated U.S. sanctions against Iran, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The investigation comes one month after the agency reached a $430 million settlement with another Chinese telecom firm, ZTE, for also violating U.S. sanctions with Iran.

Details on specific violations the Justice Department's Huawei investigation is probing are not known yet.

A Huawei spokesperson did not comment on the investigation but said broadly that it does not violate laws and regulations in countries it does business. 

"Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including the applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU,” the spokesperson said.  

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The agency's actions follow a larger pattern of the U.S. increasingly cracking down on Chinese firms. The Justice Department has been focused on sanctions violations, but other parts of federal government, including the White House and Congress, are taking action against Chinese companies under the pretext of national security.

Last year, the White House blocked two proposed mergers between U.S. companies and Chinese companies.

In Congress, lawmakers have put pressure on U.S. firms to distance themselves from Chinese companies and have pushed for legislation to bar the U.S. government from using products of companies such as Huawei, ZTE and others.

In April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it would consider policies to stop using portions of its funding on products from companies that pose a potential national security threat.

The agency didn’t specify what companies or countries might constitute a threat, but its pursuit of the policy came after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (R) received a letter from Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP senator says he suggested Greenland purchase to Trump, met with Danish ambassador It's time to empower military families with education freedom Cotton warns China: Crackdown on Hong Kong would be 'grave miscalculation' MORE (R-Ark.) warning him about Chinese firms.

Republicans like Cotton worry that Chinese technology companies that are cozy with Beijing could be pressured into giving up the data they have on Americans using their products.