Seagate Technology Holdings has agreed to pay a $300 million penalty in a settlement with US authorities for shipping over $1.1 billion worth of hard disk drives to China’s Huawei in violation of US export control laws, the Department of Commerce said on Wednesday, reports Nikkei Asia. Seagate sold the drives to Huawei between August 2020 and September 2021 despite an August 2020 rule that restricted sales of certain foreign items made with US technology to the company. Huawei was placed on the Entity List, a US trade blacklist, in 2019 to reduce the sale of US goods to the company amid national security and foreign policy concerns.
The penalty represents the latest in a string of actions by Washington to keep sophisticated technology from China that may support its military, enable human rights abuses or otherwise threaten US security.
Seagate shipped 7.4 million drives to Huawei for about a year after the 2020 rule took effect and became Huawei’s sole supplier of hard drives, the Commerce Department said.