Chinese tech giant Huawei is challenging a USA law that limits its sales of telecom equipment in the US on security grounds as the company steps up efforts to preserve its access to global markets for next-generation communications.
Huawei said it had filed a complaint in a federal court in Texas challenging the constitutionality of Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a section signed into law by the US president in August that banned federal agencies and their contractors from procuring its equipment and services.
"The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products", Guo claimed, adding that the company believes the ban to be unconstitutional.
"We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort", the company's rotating chairman, Guo Ping, said at a news conference.
Deputy chairman of Huawei, Guo Ping, told reports that Congress has acted as "judge, jury and executioner" in Huawei's case, claiming that: "This ban not only is unlawful but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming United States consumers".
A Reuters analysis published on Thursday did not think much of Huawei's chances in court, since federal courts generally try to avoid contradicting Congress and the executive branch on matters of national security, but speculated the Chinese company might be looking to "score public relations points against the USA government" by filing the suit.
"The cost of doing that runs into the hundreds of millions and would dramatically affect our 5G business case; we would have to slow down the deployment of 5G very significantly".
Huawei has about 40 percent of the global market for network gear.
The Australian FinancialReview thought it was no coincidence that Huawei live-streamed a major press conference to roll out its lawsuit against the US government at the same time the United States seeks to extradite Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou from Canada to face charges of violating Iran sanctions. Even worse, the U.S. Government is trying to block us from the 5G markets in other countries.
Huawei, however, is keen to portray itself as a private company owned by its employees, with no ties to the Chinese government beyond those of a law-abiding taxpayer.
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In its lawsuit, Huawei said its "equipment and services are subject to advanced security procedures, and no backdoors, implants, or other intentional security vulnerabilities have been documented in any of the more than 170 countries in the world where Huawei equipment and services are used".
"Huawei is willing to address the US government's security concerns", Guo said. ZTE, which pleaded guilty in 2017 for illegally shipping United States goods to Iran, did not respond to requests for comment. "In enacting the NDAA, Congress acted unconstitutionally as judge, jury and executioner".
Huawei's primary argument is that the ban on its products is a "bill of attainder" - a legislative act condemning a particular person or group of people and punishing them without a trial. Its attack on Huawei is purposeful and punitive.
"Huawei has never had a fair chance to confront or cross-examine its accusers".
Last June, the Trump administration slapped the European Union with steel and aluminum tariff hikes, forcing Brussels to respond against American products like bourbon whiskey and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
And its policy had been framed by advice from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
"After researching in 5G for over a decade, we are at least 12 to 18 months ahead of our industry peers". ZTE eventually paid more than $1 billion in fines.
In February 2018, USA intelligence officials advised Americans against using cellphones by Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecom company. We purchase billions of dollars' worth of components, equipment, and software from these companies every year.
Brooklyn prosecutors discussed the relationship between Huawei and HSBC, a bank that was required to cooperate with USA prosecutors in any investigation until the end of 2017 for violating U.S. anti-money laundering and sanctions laws, the person added.
"In signing the 2019 NDAA, the President of the United States objected that provisions of the NDAA raise significant separation of powers concerns and reflect congressional overreach". Perhaps he was taking the time to memorize the names of everyone involved.