Huawei accused of supplying HP equipment to Iran

Huawei accused of supplying HP equipment to Iran

Summary: One of Huawei's partners appeared to have been setting up proposals for Iranians to buy HP equipment, despite US sanctions that ban the export of computer equipment to Iran.


Huawei has been accused of attempting to supply embargoed Hewlett-Packard equipment to a mobile network operator in Iran in late 2010.

Documents obtained by Reuters reveal an equipment price list bearing Huawei's logos for an "expansion proposal" set up by Iranian telco MCI. Reuters noted that the list requests a server, 20 disk arrays, 22 switches, and software, altogether totalling €1.3 million. It also shows that MCI already had "existing" HP equipment, possibly previously agreed upon or installed, including 22 servers, 8 disk arrays, and 13 switches. Together, the complete price list comes to €19.9 million.

US-imposed sanctions currently prohibit US companies from exporting computer equipment to Iran as a means to deter the country from pursuing its nuclear plans. Iran has repeatedly maintained that its nuclear program is for energy production only.

The proposal is alleged to have been set up by one of Huawei's Hong Kong partners, Skycom Tech. Huawei confirmed to Reuters that Skycom had put together the proposal, but denied that neither it nor Skycom had actually shipped HP products to MCI.

ZTE, another Chinese telecommunications giant, has recently been accused of similar activities designed to overcome US export bans.

ZTE earlier this year found itself as the subject of an investigation by the FBI and an inquiry by the US Department of Commerce, following allegations that it had sold phones containing US-manufactured parts to Iran. ZTE was alleged to have set up a network of sub-companies to illegally export products from Microsoft, HP, Oracle, Dell, Cisco, and Symantec to Iran.

HP's equipment has also appeared on Syrian shopping lists. Last month, news emerged that HP equipment was being sold to Syria without HP's knowledge. In that case, Italian company Area SpA bought up HP equipment from an unnamed HP partner, and then sold the equipment on yet again without informing HP of who the end customer was.

Topics: Telcos, Government, Government US, Hewlett-Packard, Legal, China, Huawei

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I have been wondering about this...

    since I read an article about HP equipment being shipped to Iran a year or so ago. Did not hear anymore about it until now, thanks Michael Lee. So, did HP know their equipment was being shipped to embargoed countries? hmmm.... wondering. According to this report, HP has been selling Iran computer equipment for years:

    Years ago I bought an All-In-One printer from HP. Print heads died on me (less than 1500 copies made), however HP refused to help me and others with the same bad print heads, so we were left with big paper-weights. Never bought another HP product since and never will, especially when they are selling to America's enemy.
    • Who said HP owed you anything?

      And it's just business, government regulations are bad. HP should be free to sell to whomever they like. Anything less hurts profit...
  • Huawei witch hunt

    This is a witch hunt. HP has been selling indirectly into Iran for years with no penalty. It takes about three seconds to do a google search and see that they are sold openly there. Now it's discovered that Huawei, who has a right to do business in Iran, is an HP partner and suddenly Reuters "obtains" documents about it and it's big news. Iran has telcos, banks, government agencies, and every other industry that is run on computers, not by pen and paper. Almost all of them running on US CPUs, hard disks, memory and often US boxes. But somehow Huawei is the evil one
    • Two wrongs don't make a right

      But thanks for playing.
    • Yes!

      I agree that Huawei is getting hung out for something it has a right to do... And china doesn't hate Iran so Big wow, same as Russia. Anyone remember when France followed america in stopping the import of iranian oil? Russia bought Frances oil off Iran and sold it at cost to France. And to be truthful i dont think Iran is a problem either. They become a problem when you poke them with sticks continually untill they can't take it... I'm more scared of america and the 20k nukes it has, waiting for the day they get another muppet like Bush "Theres terrorists in me soup... FIRE EVERYTHIN!!!!!!!!"
  • I sure hope that's your bad grammar

    "...denied that neither it nor Skycom..."

    That's a double negative, and means yes, they did do it.
    • Well, not no

      ... they were hoping we wouldn't notice :)
  • HP needs revenue

    If HP is in the know about the sale of its tech to sanctioned countries, criminal prosecution is possible.
    • HP is not naive as you think

      HP would not pursue and look into any accusation because it will hurt sales. Every product has its own registration for support reasons.
  • common

    Im from Iran and you can pretty much buy everything over there; very easily. HP, DELL, Apple, Cisco...