Huawei began preparations for a legal challenge against a US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to bar operators using government subsidies to purchase its equipment, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The company is expected to begin its formal challenge to the FCC order next week, the newspaper’s sources claim.

A challenge would come as no surprise given the company’s damning comments in the aftermath of the FCC’s decision to ban companies from using a $8.5 billion pot of funds to purchase kit from companies deemed a national security risk.

The prohibition would apply to companies claiming money from the Universal Service Fund, a fund to to aid network deployments for unconnected communities. It is one of a number of measures targeting China’s major vendors, with Huawei the most prominent.

Although not widely deployed in the country, equipment from Huawei and domestic rival ZTE is present in a number of networks run by smaller operators.

In addition to banning the purchase of equipment from certain vendors, the FCC is also proposing rules which would force operators to strip-out network equipment already in use.