Huawei under US Department of Justice investigation

The Huawei P20 Pro is the Chinese company’s newest phone.  

Josh Miller/CNET

Chinese phone maker Huawei is under investigation by the US Department of Justice, the Wall Street Journal reports. The investigation aims to determine whether Huawei violated US sanctions against Iran. It’s not clear what stage the investigation is in or exactly what allegations have been presented.

This isn’t the first time Huawei has been under the government’s microscope. Huawei’s relationship with the US in recent years has been in nearly constant turmoil. Heads of the CIA, FBI and NSA all warned consumers against purchasing Huawei phones in an open Congressional testimony in February, citing security concerns. 

Retailers and mobile carrier partnerships including AT&T, Verizon and Best Buy fell through earlier this year, making it harder for US consumers to get their hands on a Huawei phone. The company currently sells phones including the highly rated Mate 10 and P20 Pro in the US through Amazon, Newegg and other online retailers.

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If the DoJ does find Huawei guilty of violating sanctions, it could mean criminal penalties and further difficulty making headway in the US market for the Chinese company. ZTE, another Chinese phone maker, last year paid $892 million in fines for exporting US tech to Iran.

Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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