Huawei said Thursday it was suing the United States for barring government agencies from buying the Chinese telecom giant's products, following warnings that they could serve as a tool for Chinese intelligence services.
Sales of Huawei products are banned to federal agencies, as part of the National Defence Authorisation Act, whilst the ongoing rumours about the company's involvement with the Chinese government have seen its handsets dropped by all the major carriers, leading to a decimated presence in the country, despite glowing product reviews and a huge sales boost in Europe.
The lawsuit also comes as telecoms around the world, including in Canada, shop for equipment to build 5G networks, the technology needed for real-time applications like self-driving cars.
Huawei said the US law it is protesting has Congress improperly play the role of a court.
Long before Trump initiated a bitter trade war with China, Huawei activities were under scrutiny by U.S. authorities, according to interviews with ten people familiar with the Huawei probes and documents related to the investigations seen by Reuters.
USA authorities "have hacked our servers and stolen our emails" but have presented no evidence to support their security claims, Guo said. "We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort", Huawei's rotating chairman Guo Ping said.
European governments are balking at US pressure to ban Huawei. "We look forward to the court's verdict, and trust that it will benefit both Huawei and the American people".
"It is not likely to result in Huawei gaining new access to the USA market". Moreover, Huawei has an excellent security record and program.
Some legal analysts have noted that Huawei's case is similar to the legal battle Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky lost late a year ago. The company's complaint argues that the law violates the U.S. Constitution. Huawei claims the section of the NDAA related to the ban is a "bill of attainder" that violates its rights.
While Huawei had very little market share in the US telecoms market before the bill, it viewed Section 889 as a stumbling block to addressing broader problems with Washington as its existence prevented any steps toward reconciliation.
Huawei hopes that the court will find out that the restrictions on Huawei in the NDAA were unconstitutional and a permanent injunction prohibiting the implementation of the restriction will be issued.More news: R. Kelly's 'girlfriends' come to his defense in CBS interview
Its typically press-shy founder, Ren, gave a two-hour interview to foreign reporters in January in which he said Huawei would reject Chinese government demands to disclose confidential information about its customers.
This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming USA consumers.
"The US government is sparing no effort to smear the company", he said at a news conference at the company's headquarters in the southern city of Shenzhen. Huawei asserts that said ban is unconstitutional.
Huawei's chief legal officer, Song Liuping, said the two cases were different in terms of evidence and scope, and that the Chinese firm's case had "full merits".
In February 2018, US intelligence officials advised Americans against using cellphones by Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecom company.
China's government arrested two Canadians, a former diplomat and a businessman, on December 10 in what was widely seen as an attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng, the company's CFO.
"There are issues arising out of the treatment of Ms. Meng upon her arrival at the Vancouver International Airport and her detention and subsequent arrest", lawyer Peck said on Wednesday. For example, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, is now being detained in Canada on behalf of the United States on charges that the firm violated USA sanctions on Iran. Meng Wanzhou was arrested previous year in Canada.
The British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Heather J. Holmes set Meng's next court date for May 8.
The case strained Canada's relations with China, which this week accused two arrested Canadians of stealing state secrets and blocked Canadian canola imports.
Relations between Canada and China have deteriorated sharply since Meng's arrest.