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Chinese tech giant Huawei under U.S. investigation for North Korea ties

The United States has previously called the tech firm a security threat.

By
Elizabeth Shim
Huawei, a major Chinese telecommunications company, is under U.S. investigation. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Huawei, a major Chinese telecommunications company, is under U.S. investigation. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 3 (UPI) -- Chinese technology behemoth Huawei is being investigated by the U.S. Commerce Department because of its connection to transactions in North Korea, Iran and Cuba.

The probe follows a recent announcement from the U.S. Treasury that North Korea is a "primary money-laundering concern." The law bans countries from processing North Korea-related banking transactions.

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The U.S. subpoena delivered to Huawei requested information about the corporation's exports to North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan, according to The New York Times.

The U.S. government is requesting five years of information on Huawei exports, including cargo sent to the countries through third-party firms.

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Huawei, which sells $60 billion annually in telecom equipment, did not address the subpoena but issued the following statement: "Huawei is committed to complying with the applicable laws and regulations in the markets where Huawei operates and export control measures promulgated by the international community."

In China, the U.S. announcement drew strong reactions.

One Chinese state media outlet criticized the United States' past labeling of Chinese firms as a "national security threat" and called such moves examples of a "hostile attitude."

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In 2012, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee called Huawei a security threat and the company is still banned from signing major U.S. telecom deals, Fortune reported.

Huawei retains six research centers in the United States and its U.S. branch is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The company is also heavily interdependent on U.S. suppliers, and if found in violation of U.S. sanctions, companies like Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Oracle could be restricted from business with Huawei.

The U.S. Treasury's sanctions announced Wednesday are to be implemented globally, and on Friday Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew met with his South Korean counterpart Yoo Il-ho in Seoul to discuss policy coordination on the financial sanctions.

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"We've agreed that there is no different view on North Korea issues [between Seoul and Washington]," Yoo said, according to Yonhap.

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