Huawei Makes Big Move Against US Government


It comes as the biggest global maker of network equipment for phone and internet companies fights US efforts to persuade allies to exclude the company from next-generation telecom systems.

The suit, filed with the federal court in Texas, alleges that the ban on Huawei products, passed as part of a defense spending package past year, is unconstitutional and is part of the Trump administration's campaign of political and economic pressure against China. It says that denies the company due process and amounts to a "death penalty".

Steven Schwinn, a professor at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, said the lawsuit is likely to be dismissed by a judge. "This section strips Huawei of its due process, violating the separation of powers principles, breaks US legal traditions, and goes against the very nature of the constitution". The lawsuit has been brought in the US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas (its US headquarters is located in Plano, Texas).

The company is challenging the USA law as an unconstitutional "bill of attainder", or a measure that targets a specific individual for penalties without a trial.

Western governments have likened China's detention of the Canadians to hostage-taking, but their criticism has been undermined by statements by President Trump suggesting he could use the various criminal cases against Huawei as a bargaining chip to resolve unrelated trade disputes.

It adds that putting restrictions on Huawei will stifle competition, meaning the average USA consumer will end up paying higher prices for inferior products.

"This ban not only is unlawful but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming USA consumers", Huawei's Rotating Chairman Guo Ping said in the statement. Ltd. on March 7 confirmed it is suing the USA government over a section of a defense bill passed into law previous year that restricts its access to the United States.

Update 2 (9:31PM EST): Huawei brings up that US companies have weak "cyber security hygine" as the data breaches that happened over the past few years such as Equifax were all unrelated to Huawei. At the same time, Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhouis facing extradition to the United States from Canada over violations of USA sanctions on Iran. The Chinese telecoms giant says the USA violated its own constitution.

"They should take legal action to protect their rights like we protect our rights in the United States", he said.

The company also has launched a public relations campaign overseas.

Huawei is disputing a USA defense bill before a Texas court, in a bid to overturn a security ban against its products, the company's rotating chairman Guo Ping said in a statement on Thursday. The United States accounts for 20 to 25 per cent of the global market for computer and telecom technology.

The latest suspension was completely "reasonable and legal" and aimed at protecting the health and safety of Chinese citizens, Lu said.

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Much of the USA concern is rooted in fears that China, through Huawei, may export the high-tech security state that is accelerating under President Xi Jinping. "No contrary evidence has been offered", he said.

Huawei believes the block on their products prevents any steps towards reconciliation between the USA and China. He complaining Washington was "sparing no effort to smear" the company. "I don't want to block out anybody if we can help it".

Is Huawei a National Security Threat?

In the complaint filed Wednesday, Huawei said the US government failed to provide evidence Huawei products pose a security risk, the reason given for the ban last May.

Founded in 1987 by a former military engineer, Huawei overtook Ericsson in 2017 as the biggest global supplier of network gear.

The lawsuit also comes as telecoms around the world, including in Canada, shop for equipment to build 5G networks, the technology needed for real-time applications like self-driving cars.

Estimates from industry sources show that allowing Huawei to compete would reduce the cost of wireless infrastructure by between 15% and 40%.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he had no information on whether China's government may also seek legal action against this US law, but added Huawei's move is "totally reasonable and totally understandable".

The Chinese regime also appeared to push back forcefully Monday, when the Communist Party's top judicial and law enforcement body announced grave espionage accusations against two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, but did not announce next steps in their prosecution or formal charges.

The Canadian government approved extradition proceedings against Meng on March 1.

Moreover, the United States is striving to smash Huawei and influence public opinion. Its reclusive billionaire founder, Ren Zhengfei, has broken years of silence to address foreign media, and this month the company invited US -based reporters to tour its Shenzhen headquarters, all expenses paid.

Some European officials and others cite a Chinese security law that requires companies to co-operate with intelligence agencies.

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