China syndromeChina’s Huawei sues U.S. government over ban
Chinese tech giant Huawei has sued the U.S. government, arguing that legislation Congress passed last year that restricts its business in the United States is “unconstitutional.” The case, which analysts see more as a public relations move, is but the latest in an intensifying effort by the telecommunications company to fight U.S. security concerns, which Huawei argues are unfair and unfounded.
China’s Huawei has filed suit to force entry into the U.S.market // Source: flickr.com
Chinese tech giant Huawei has sued the U.S. government, arguing that legislation Congress passed last year that restricts its business in the United States is “unconstitutional.” The case, which analysts see more as a public relations move, is but the latest in an intensifying effort by the telecommunications company to fight U.S. security concerns, which Huawei argues are unfair and unfounded. In its lawsuit, Huawei argues that Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act violates the constitutional principles of separation of powers and due process. By singling out the company and punishing it without a trial, the company also argues that the law violates the Constitution’s bill of attainder clause.
Section 889 bans federal agencies and their contractors from purchasing equipment and services from Huawei as well as another Chinese telecom company ZTE. It was signed into law last year by President Donald Trump.
“This ban is not only unlawful but also harms both Huawei and U.S. consumers,” Huawei’s rotating chairman, Guo Ping, told reporters at news conference in Shenzhen on Thursday. “This section strips Huawei of its due process, violating the separation of powers principles, breaks U.S. legal traditions, and goes against the very nature of the constitution.”
Guo said that Huawei was left with no choice but to take legal action, noting that neither lawmakers nor the government had shown any proof to date to back up concerns the company is a security concern.
Huawei’s chief legal officer, Song Liuping, added that the clause gives it no recourse to defend itself or clear its name.
“Section 889 is based on numerous false, unproven, and untested propositions. Contrary to the statutes’ premise, Huawei is not owned, controlled, or influenced by the Chinese government,” Song said.
That, however, is a central point of the debate over Huawei: how much a security threat the company is? And is it really independent from China’s authoritarian government?
That debate is heating up at a crucial time as countries across the globe are preparing to roll out next generation mobile communications networks or 5G, an area where Huawei is a global leader.
At the press conference, Huawei officials argued repeatedly that the ban would cut off Americans from its advanced technology. They also gave assurances again that the company would never install backdoors into their equipment and that it puts the security concerns of its customers first.