The stage may be set — or may be setting up to be set — for a tech and regulatory battle between Chinese giant Huawei and its U.S. counterparts.
The global supplier of internet and communications hardware has been subpoenaed by the U.S. Commerce Department, which has stated that it must turn over information, as noted by The New York Times, tied to its sales in Iran, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea and Syria.
These nations have long been regarded by the U.S. as outlaw states and are among those to which the country restricts exports of tech gear. NYT noted that the subpoena deals with Huawei exports of U.S. gear and extends to items that are even partly made in the U.S.
NYT noted that the subpoena “couldn’t come at a worse time for Huawei.” The firm has about 170,000 employees and sales growth of 50 percent over the past three years to as much as $60 billion. Most of that derives from outside the American market, which is dominated by Cisco.
The fact remains, though, that since a 2012 congressional panel hearing that stated Huawei was a security threat, the firm has since tried to come into the good graces of regulators, including suing Samsung on alleged intellectual property theft. Now, the spotlight will again be on, as NYT termed it, “the Chinese habit of selling things to the enemies of the United States.”