Huawei takes US government to court

Gigi Onag
ComputerWorld Hong Kong

Huawei lost its trade mark reticence when it announced yesterday that it is suing the US government for banning federal agencies from buying its products.

The complaint filed in a U.S. federal court challenges the constitutionality of Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Through this action, Huawei seeks a declaratory judgment that the restrictions targeting Huawei are unconstitutional, and a permanent injunction against these restrictions.

From Huawei's perspective, the NDAA restrictions prevent the company from providing more advanced 5G technologies to U.S. consumers, which will delay the commercial application of 5G, in turn, impeding efforts to improve the performance of 5G networks in the U.S.

"The U.S. 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," Guo Ping, Huawei rotating chairman said in a press conference held yesterday at company's Shenzhen campus.

"This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming U.S. consumers,” he said.

The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court in Plano, Texas. According to the complaint, Section 889 of the 2019 NDAA not only bars all U.S. Government agencies from buying Huawei equipment and services, but also bars them from contracting with or awarding grants or loans to third parties who buy Huawei equipment or services, without any executive or judicial process.

The Chinese telecoms and IT equipment vendor claims this violates the Bill of Attainder Clause and the Due Process Clause. The Huawei lawsuit also claims the violation of the Separation-of-Powers principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, because Congress is both making the law, and attempting to adjudicate and execute it.

“Section 889 is based on numerous false, unproven, and untested propositions,’ said Song Liuping, Huawei's chief legal officer.” Contrary to the statute's premise, Huawei is not owned, controlled, or influenced by the Chinese government.”

He added: “Moreover, Huawei has an excellent security record and program. No contrary evidence has been offered."

Citing industry sources, Huawei claims that allowing them to compete would reduce the cost of wireless infrastructure by between 15% and 40%. This would save North America at least US$20 billion over the next four years.

“If this law is set aside, as it should be, Huawei can bring more advanced technologies to the United States and help it build the best 5G networks,” Guo Ping said. “Huawei is willing to address the U.S. Government's security concerns. Lifting the NDAA ban will give the U.S. Government the flexibility it needs to work with Huawei and solve real security issues.”

This article first appeared on ComputerWorld HK and can be found here

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