Huawei reportedly sued US Commerce Department over seized equipment, ramping up trade war tensions

  • The Chinese tech company Huawei filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Commerce on Friday,Bloomberg reported.
  • Huawei reportedly alleged that the US has “unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed agency action” on unspecified telecommunications equipment that it seized in 2017.
  • The US has not yet come to a decision on whether the equipment can be returned to China, Huawei said in the lawsuit, according to Bloomberg.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Chinese tech company Huawei filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Commerce on Friday alleging that it has “unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed agency action” on unspecified telecommunications equipment that it seized in 2017, Bloomberg reported.

In the lawsuit, Huawei reportedly said that it had sent the equipment to be tested in a California lab in July 2017. The tech giant said the equipment was taken by the US government as it was being returned to China due to uncertainty over whether the equipment required an export licence, according to Bloomberg.

Huawei reportedly argued that the equipment didn’t need an export licence and that it had given the US all of the information it asked for. The company said in the lawsuit that the US has not yet come to a decision on whether the equipment can be returned to China, according to Bloomberg.


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Huawei and the Department of Commerce did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.

The lawsuit adds another layer to the increasing tension between Huawei and the US government.

In December, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on charges of violating US trade sanctions against Iran.

The arrest came months before Commerce Department effectively banned American companies from working with Huawei, saying the company’s operations posed a threat to US national security and foreign policy, though comments from President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have suggested the ban is related to the trade war between the US and China.

The tension seems to be taking its toll on the tech giant, as Huawei has since delayed product releases and cut revenue expectations for this year.

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