Legal View

Huawei to challenge US ban in court

Read time 3min 50sec
Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping.
Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping.

Huawei is suing the US government, seeking a declaratory judgement that the restrictions targeted against it are unconstitutional, and a permanent injunction against these restrictions.

During a live broadcast of a press conference held this morning in Shenzhen, China, Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping said the company has been compelled to take legal action as a proper and last resort.

The lawsuit was filed in a US District Court in Plano, Texas, according to Huawei.

In its complaint, China's Huawei says Section 889 of the 2019 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) not only bars all US government agencies from buying Huawei equipment and services, but also bars them from contracting with or awarding grants or loans to third-parties that buy Huawei equipment or services, without any executive or judicial process.

This, says the telecoms giant, violates the Bill of Attainder Clause and the Due Process Clause. It also violates the separation-of-powers principles enshrined in the US Constitution, it alleges.

Guo stated: "The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions of Huawei products. After exhausting all other means to allay the thoughts of some US lawmakers, we are left with no choice but to challenge the law in court. This ban is not only unlawful, but also harms both Huawei and US consumers."

Security allegations

Huawei has found itself caught in the crossfire of a US-China trade war, which has resulted in a ban of the use of the Chinese equipment supplier's technology products and services due to claimed security fears.

Huawei has denied installing any backdoors in its networking equipment for alleged government spying.

Addressing the security allegations, Guo said Huawei has always taken its responsibilities seriously, specifically the responsibility to make secure equipment that meets industry standards.

He explained: "For three decades, we have maintained a solid track record in cyber security. Huawei has not and will never implant backdoors, and we will never allow others to install any in our equipment. The US government has long branded Huawei a threat. It has hacked our servers and stolen our e-mails and the source code.

"Despite this, the US government has never provided any evidence supporting their accusations that Huawei poses a cyber security threat. Still, the US government is sparing no effort to smear the company and mislead the public about Huawei."

5G aspirations

Huawei has stepped forward as the leading supplier for the tech that will be the backbone of 5G networks, and it is for this reason that Huawei believes the US government is trying to block it from the 5G market in other countries, Guo pointed out.

While not all countries have turned against Huawei, some European countries have followed in the footsteps of the US.

He stated: "Huawei has invested significantly to become the global leader of 5G. Given the United States has never presented any evidence to substantiate its security allegations, we question its intent of not wanting other countries to use Huawei.

"Maybe the US government incorrectly believes it would benefit from the suspension of Huawei, but the truth is restricting Huawei's contribution to America and other nations' 5G networks will only harm their national interests."

According to Guo, faster 5G network deployment can benefit all countries. However, the NDAA was enacted to restrict Huawei without giving it an opportunity to defend itself, he continued.

"It is the abuse of the US law-making process. This section strips Huawei of its due process, while its separation-of-powers principles breaks US legal traditions and goes against the very nature of the Constitution. Section 889 infringes upon our rights. Enacting the NDAA, Congress acted unconstitutionally as judge, jury and executioner."

He concluded by saying if the law is set aside, as it should be, Huawei can bring more advanced technologies to the US and help it build the best 5G networks.

Reuters reports that some legal experts believe Huawei's lawsuit is likely to be dismissed because US courts are reluctant to second-guess national security determinations by other branches of government.

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