The investigation comes one month after the agency reached a $430 million settlement with Chinese phone-maker ZTE for also violating USA sanctions with Iran.
Wall Street Journal wasn't able to get a hold of the details of the criminal investigation other than it was also about violating trade embargos against Iran. The company already caught the attention of the USA government back in 2012 for its rumored ties with the Chinese government. Today's report says that the Justice Department investigation deals with allegations that Huawei violated USA sanctions against Iran.
The action was sparked by ZTE's violation of an agreement that was reached after it was caught illegally shipping United States goods to Iran.
News of the Justice Department probe follows a series of USA actions aimed at stopping or reducing access by Huawei and Chinese smartphone maker ZTE Corp to the US economy amid allegations the companies could be using their technology to spy on Americans.
Glenn Schloss, a spokesman for Huawei in Shenzhen, declined to comment about the probes.
A Justice probe would come on the back of subpoenas issued to the company by the US Commerce and Treasury Departments over sanctions-related issues, according to the Journal.
In April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it would consider policies to stop using portions of its funding on products from companies that pose a potential national security threat. Ciena and Infinera, of course, compete with both Huawei and ZTE in global markets (except China). "U.S. authorities should not base government decisions on speculation or rumor".
Huawei has faced several setbacks in the US this year.
In a 2016 letter to the Commerce Department, 10 USA lawmakers said F7 was believed to be Huawei, citing media reports. Somewhat fueled by the fact that the founder of the company once worked for the Chinese government. The company is also the world's No. 3 maker of smartphones.
Bloomberg's Greg Farrell contributed.