UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The hunting target : interpreting the continuing US economic sanctions on Huawei as a non-state actor Zheng, Yang


In 2018, the Trump administration imposed similar economic sanctions on two Chinese telecommunication multinational companies (MNCs), Huawei and ZTE. US sanctions on Huawei not only persist until today but also seem to escalate. On the contrary, ZTE’s sanctions lasted shortly and are now lifted. Why are sanctions lifted for ZTE but persisted for Huawei? Existing scholarly views often approach the subject of economic sanctions from a state’s perspective. However, these state-centric thoughts do not comprehensively fit into the case of Huawei and ZTE, since the two cases present similarities in many proposed conditions. By utilizing J.S.Mill’s method of difference, I examine the difference in three sources of MNCs’ power proposed by the bargaining model, I argue that the size of a firm provides the greatest source of power to counter the impact of economic sanctions, therefore allowing Huawei to refuse to comply to US sanctions, which eventually resulted in persistence of US economic sanctions. The finding of this paper provides a firm-level explanation of the ongoing sanctions on Huawei and fills the gap in analyzing the effectiveness of economic sanctions.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International