Huawei’s rotating chairman expressed confidence the company will avoid trade sanctions similar to those which have plagued fellow Chinese vendor ZTE, despite being the subject of a criminal probe by US officials.
Ken Hu told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche it would be “hard to imagine” Huawei would be hit by sanctions given what he called its “very efficient” system of export controls. He added the company closely abides by all laws and regulations passed in the US and Europe.
The comments come as Huawei faces a US Department of Justice investigation into whether it violated restrictions on trade with Iran.
A similar investigation into ZTE’s dealings resulted in a seven-year trade ban which almost sank the company before President Trump’s administration struck a settlement deal to let it operate, after paying a $1.4 billion fine and shuffling its leadership.
US companies supply key components to both Huawei and ZTE, making the impact of a potential trade ban devastating. Hu said Huawei’s supply chain is international, but noted the company plans to continue buying US chips this year despite the investigation.