Huawei has decided to go on the legal offence against the United States government after defending itself against alleged espionage and bank frauds linked to American sanctions on Iran. During a press conference late Wednesday, Huawei announced that it has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, arguing that a ban on the use of its products by federal agencies and contractors violated due process and is unconstitutional.
The company is the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment and a growing threat to Apple in the global smartphone race. At the center of the suit is Huawei’s claim that Section 889 in the National Defense Authorization Act, passed in August 2018, is unconstitutional. Section 889 contains restrictions that prevent federal agencies from procuring Huawei equipment or services, working with contractors that use Huawei equipment or services or awarding grants and loans that would be used to procure Huawei products.
During today’s press conference, Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping said Congress has failed to provide evidence to support the restrictions or allowed Huawei due process of law. The company is seeking a permanent injunction against the restrictions.
“For three decades, we have maintained a solid track record in security,” said Guo. “Huawei has not and never installed backdoors and we will never allow others to install backdoors in our equipment. The U.S. government branded our services a threat. The U.S. government has never provided any evidence supporting their accusations that Huawei poses a serious security threat. The U.S. government is sparing no effort to smear the company. Even worse, it is trying to block us in other countries.”
U.S. officials have long warned domestic companies and other governments against using Huawei equipment over threats that China could be using its tech for spying. Concerns around Huawei have escalated as the Chinese company grows to play a key role in 5G, the network solution important to powering driverless cars, remote surgeries and other futuristic tech.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Justice Department filed criminal charges against Huawei and its financial executive Meng Wanzhou over business practices that allegedly circumvent U.S. sanctions over Iran. Meng announced this week she is suing the Canadian government and police for violating her rights when they detained her on behalf of the U.S. government in December.
Huawei executives, including founder Ren Zhengfei who rarely speaks out publicly, have firmly denied the presence of any backdoors in its equipment. Ren recently declared that the U.S. won’t hamper his company’s trajectory and that the arrest of Meng — his daughter — is a “politically motivated act [that] is not acceptable.”