China's Huawei may face another bump in the road in the U.S.
Washington lawmakers have introduced new bills that would ban the sale of some U.S. tech hardware to Huawei and fellow Chinese tech firm ZTE.
Both Republicans and Democrats put the bills forward on Wednesday (January 16).
If passed, they'd block the sale of U.S. chips and parts to Chinese telecoms companies that violate U.S. sanctions.
Both Huawei and ZTE have been accused of skirting sanctions on Iran.
It's also the latest in a string of U.S. efforts to fight what some Trump administration officials call intellectual property theft sanctioned by Beijing.
And as Reuters Anne Marie Roantree explains, the bill's also part of a U.S.-led push to deal with security fears over Chinese made hardware.
(Soundbite) (English) REUTERS HONG KONG BUREAU CHIEF ANNE MARIE ROANTREE, SAYING:
"For Huawei in particular we are seeing nearly every day stories of western governments raising fears or concerns over what they say are links to the Chinese government. These are claims and accusations that Huawei has consistently and repeatedly denied. But you know, the Americans, their greatest fear is that the equipment of Huawei and ZTE is can be used to spy on Americans. There was a ban imposed last year on ZTE on American companies selling parts to ZTE, because it violated US sanctions. That had a crippling effect on ZTE so if this bill actually does go through I would think and analysts have said that they would expect a similar impact on the companies."
Huawei has consistently denied any ties with Chinese espionage.
The company's founder and CEO said this week that Beijing didn't own even one cent of Huawei.
And on Thursday (January 17) China's foreign ministry called the proposed U.S. laws quote "hysteria".
The new bills came within hours of a Wall Street Journal report that revealed federal prosecutors are investigating Huawei over allegations the firm stole trade secrets from T-mobile and other U.S. companies.
The Journal's report said an indictment could be coming soon on charges Huawei stole technology T-mobile uses for quality-control tests on touch screens.
In a statement Huawei said it had already settled a dispute with T-Mobile in 2017 after a U.S. jury found the company had not acted maliciously regarding trade secret claims.