Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping (pictured) confirmed the company filed a lawsuit in a US federal court, challenging a ban on government agencies using its gear and seeking a permanent injunction against the restriction.
Guo, speaking at a press conference at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, said the US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei: “We are compelled to take legal action as a last resort. This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming US consumers.”
“We look forward to the court’s verdict and trust that it will benefit both Huawei and the American people.”
He said Congress acted as “judge, jury and executioner” in implementing the ban and had not allowed Huawei to have its day in court.
Earlier in the week The New York Times reported Huawei was preparing to take the US government to court over the ban, which was included in a defence spending bill passed into law in August 2018. The move prohibited government agencies and contractors from using equipment from Huawei and rival ZTE.
The lawsuit was filed in Texas, where Huawei has its US headquarters.
In its complaint, Huawei claims the ban goes beyond blocking government agencies from buying its equipment: it also restricts the agencies from contracting with, or awarding grants or loans, to third parties which buy Huawei equipment or services without any executive or judicial process.
Huawei claims this violates the company’s due process and the separation-of-powers principles enshrined in the US constitution. It is a permanent and irrevocable ban.
The federal court has 60 days to respond to the legal action.
Guo added: “If this law is set aside, as it should be, Huawei can bring more advanced technologies to the US and help it build the best 5G networks.”
“Huawei is willing to address the US government’s security concerns.”
The court action is the latest move by the company to address widening scrutiny of its gear on security concerns.
At MWC19 Barcelona, Guo criticised the US during a keynote presentation, turning the spotlight on the country’s own controversial data gathering practices under the Prism programme, the US National Security Agency surveillance system revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013.
While the US accounts for a small percentage of its sales, Huawei’s chief legal officer Song Liuping noted the ban has had a profound and material impact on its global reputation, which is one of the key reasons for taking the action.