Huawei challenging US restrictions in court

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 30 May, 2019

Huawei challenging US restrictions in court

US efforts to prevent Huawei from doing business in the US or with US companies amount to “trial by legislature” and an affront to global human rights, according to Huawei Chief Legal Officer Dr Song Liuping.

The company has filed a motion for a summary judgement in a US court seeking to have restrictions placed on Huawei declared unconstitutional and stop enforcement activity.

The motion has been filed as part of Huawei’s court challenge to the original executive order, passed by Congress in March, that banned all US government agencies from buying equipment from the company and other Chinese network vendors.

The US Government has since added Huawei to an Entity List of companies that US companies are prohibited from doing business with unless they gain explicit government approval. This has led to major issues for Huawei, such as Google pulling Android support, and chipmakers including Broadcom and Qualcomm revealing they will cut off supply.

The US Commerce Department has subsequently issued a 90-day reprieve allowing companies to continue doing business with companies on the entity list in order to maintain existing products, meaning Huawei will not immediately lose access to Android updates for existing devices as feared but will not be able to use the version of Android supported by Google services in new devices.

According to Liuping, the decision to add Huwaei to the entity list “threatens to harm our customers in over 170 countries, including more than three billion consumers who use Huawei products and services around the world”.

He added that the decision to prevent US companies from doing business with Huawei will directly harm more than 1200 US companies, in term affecting tens of thousands of US jobs.

“Politicians in the US are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company.

They are using every tool they have, including legislative, administrative and diplomatic channels. They want to put us out of business. This is not normal. Almost never seen in history,” Liuping said.

“It’s unfortunate that the US Government is using so much time, resources and political capital to attack a private company. We believe this sets a dangerous precedent — today it’s telecoms and Huawei, tomorrow it could be your industry, your company, your consumers. The judicial system is the last line of defence for justice. Huawei has confidence in the independence and integrity of the US judicial system. We hope that [the situation] can be corrected by the court.”

Liuping added that banning Huawei using cybersecurity as an excuse “will do nothing to make networks more secure. They provide a false sense of security, and distract attention from the real challenges we face.”

The court challenge filed by Huawei seeks merely to ascertain whether the amendments passed by the government are constitutional, and will not address the question of whether the US Government was justified in viewing the use of Huawei equipment as a national security threat. A hearing on the recently filed motion is set for 19 September.

Image courtesy Huawei

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