According to Reuters, South Africa plans to fine the local unit of Huawei with 1.5 million rands (99,151 dollars) or 2% of the local firm’s annual 2020 turnover.

On Friday, the labor department said almost 90% of the company’s employees were foreign nationals, violating the requirement to employ 60% South Africans and 40% foreign individuals. Huawei recruited significantly more foreign workers and planned to hire even more.

This is the first time the South African government has taken legal action against the Chinese tech giant. It also faced sanctions from Western nations before.

The U.S. identified Huawei as owned or controlled by the Chinese military in 2019. Washington banned U.S. firms from doing business with Huawei and convinced allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks.

Swedish banned Huawei from selling 5G equipment from the network in October 2020 based on the advice of the country’s intelligence services. In July 2020, Britain declared that Huawei 5G equipment installations would be prohibited, effective in September 2021, and it ordered Huawei to stop servicing by 2027. 

At the same time, France did not renew licenses for Huawei gears once they expired, phasing the Chinese firm out of the country’s mobile networks. The E.U. encouraged its country members to stop using Huawei equipment because of cybersecurity risks.

In 2018, The U.S. accused Huawei of defrauding HSBC and other banks regarding its business in Iran under U.S. sanctions. Other allegations were added in 2020, including scheming to steal trade secrets from six U.S. technology businesses and assisting Iran in tracking anti-government protests in 2009.

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