- Huawei just upped the ante in its fight with the US over its telecommunication devices.
- The Chinese tech giant announced it has filed a lawsuit against the US government, which has banned federal agents from using huawei equipment over security concerns.
- In a press conference on Thursday local time, the company claimed the US government has failed to produce evidence to back up concerns that the company poses a security threat, and accused the US of acting unconstitutionally.
Huawei just upped the ante in its fight with America over its telecommunication devices.
The Chinese tech giant announced on Thursday local time that it has filed a lawsuit against the US government over a law which bans government agencies from buying or using Huawei equipment.
The lawsuit zeroes in a law known as the The National Defence Authorization Act, which specifies the annual budget and policies of the US Department of Defence and the agencies which operate under it.
A provision known as Section 889 was signed into law by President Trump in August, and prohibits the use of equipment or services explicitly from Huawei to any federal agencies or their contractors.
The US has long voiced concerns that Huawei technology – along with its fellow Chinese telecom company ZTE – could pose a security risk, fearing that the company’s technology could act as a backdoor for the Chinese government to spy.
In a press conference on Thursday, the company claimed the US government has failed to produce evidence to back up concerns that the company poses a security threat, adding that the provision is unconstitutional.
“The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products. We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort,” Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping stated.
Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government have come under scrutiny, and last month a US official called the Chinese phone giant “duplicitous and deceitful.” The official said Huawei and other Chinese firms could not be trusted and could be forced to hand over data to the Communist Party without “democratic checks and balances.”
“The supply chain is global – numerous other companies manufacture products in, or use components from China,” Song Luiping, Huawei Chief Legal Officer said. “Some major telecommunications companies operate joint ventures with the Chinese government, but the NDAA has signalled out a few like Huawei and ignored the back of the supply chain.”
The US has ramped up political pressure on Huawei in recent months, requesting the extradition of its CFO Meng Zhou, who was arrested in Canada in December, and has lobbied its allies to reject its 5G equipment which is making its way across the world.
In recent months Australia and has banned Huawei and ZTE from supplying tech for their networks, citing major security risks. New Zealand has also turned down a proposal for one of its major telecom carriers to use Huawei gear in its planned 5G mobile network, but the country has not ruled out using the tech giant in future internet network upgrades if security risks are addressed.
Huawei is ahead of the game in terms of 5G technology, but the company has attracted ire from US prosecutors who accused the company of violating sanctions against Iran and stealing trade secrets from US carriers.
Isobel Asher Hamilton contributed to this report.
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