Chinese telecommunications equipment giant Huawei has filed a lawsuit in the United States against the government’s decision to ban the use of Huawei products by government employees.
In a press statement, Huawei stated that the ban is unlawful, that the United States government has not been able to produce any evidence to support its stand against the company, and that the banning of Huawei will impact competition and untimately, U.S. consumers.
“The US 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. This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming US consumers,” said Huawei chairman Guo Ping.
Threat of China using Huawei products to spy on Americans
In August last year, President Donald Trump signed a bill into law that prohibited Federal employees and contractors from using Huawei-supplied products for the sake of national security.
The decision was taken after U.S. intelligence agencies warned that Huawei’s equipment could be misused by Chinese government agencies to spy on American nationals and government employees. The government had previously banned both Huawei and ZTE from participating in the development or testing of 5G networks following an investigation into a possibility of China carrying out large-scale surveillance using equipment sold by the two firms in the U.S.
Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal also reported that the Department of Justice was planning to pursue legal action against Huawei for stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile. The investigation was initiated after the U.S. District Court in Seattle found in 2017 that Huawei had indeed gained access to trade secrets from T-Mobile and asked the company to pay $4.8 million to T-Mobile as damages.
The court found merit in T-Mobile’s argument that Huawei used its commercial relationship with the company to copy the design of a robotic device named Tappy for its own financial gain.
U.S. court upheld the ban on Kaspersky Lab products last year
It remains to be seen if Huawei’s efforts to overturn the ban on the use of its products by Federal employees will succeed. In December, a U.S. Federal court upheld the U.S. government’s decision to ban the use of Kaspersky Lab products by federal employees after Kaspersky Lab filed an appeal against the decision.
In the appeal, the firm contended that decision of the DHS was “unconstitutional and relied on subjective, non-technical public sources such as uncorroborated and often anonymously sourced media reports, related claims and rumours”.
The company also told the court that DHS did not provide it with an adequate due process to respond to the allegations and did not back up its allegations with any evidence of wrongdoing by the company.
However, Kaspersky Lab’s bid to regain the right to sell its products in the United States received a jolt after the court determined that the DHS’ communique to government agencies and the congressional National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) were not unconstitutional.