Tech company Seagate has been fined $300 million by US officials for allegedly breaking export laws by sending hard drives to China’s Huawei.
After export restrictions were put in place in 2020, Seagate Technology delivered equipment valued more than $1.1 billion to Huawei, according to the Department of Commerce.
The fine is the most recent action taken by the US government to halt the export of advanced technology to China. According to US sources, the country is fearing China’s military usage of the equipment.
According to the Commerce Department, Seagate shipped 7.4 million SSDs to Huawei for nearly a year following the rule’s imposition by the previous administration of President Donald Trump.
It did so “even after Huawei was placed on the Entity List for conduct inimical to our national security,” according to Matthew Axelrod of the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).
“This settlement is a clarion call about the need for companies to comply rigorously with BIS export rules, as our enforcement team works to ensure both our national security and a level playing field,” Mr Axelrod added.
According to the department, Huawei’s other two major hard drive vendors halted exporting to the Chinese company in compliance with the new regulation.
According to Seagate, the fine will be paid in installments of $15 million every three month for the following five years.
It happens at a time when the US is still trying to stop China from buying advanced computer chips and other technology.
As part of its efforts to reduce sales of American goods to Huawei due to worries about national security and foreign policy, the US placed Huawei on a list of companies with trade restrictions in 2019.