China’s telecoms giant Huawei has been encouraging its suppliers to violate US law by telling them to move operations offshore in a bid to avoid US sanctions, Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross told Reuters on Tuesday.
In May, the US government placed Huawei on a trade blacklist known as the entity list, over national security concerns, forcing some suppliers to apply for special licenses to sell equipment to the company. But the US government has become frustrated by the limitations of the blacklisting to keep overseas suppliers from selling to the company, the world’s largest telecoms equipment supplier, Reuters reported last week.
On Tuesday, Ross said in an interview that those frustrations extended to a push from Huawei to move its supply chain overseas.
Huawei has “been openly advocating companies to move their production offshore to get around the fact that we put Huawei on the list,” Ross said. “Anybody who does move the product out specifically to avoid the sanction… that’s a violation of US law. So here you have Huawei encouraging American suppliers to violate the law,” he added.