Huawei sues US govt over security block law

Written by Hannah McGrath

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has stepped up its battle against US attempts to block use of its technology by suing the US government.

Huawei said a law introduced by US president Donald Trump barring federal agencies and third party contractors from procuring Huawei’s equipment and technology services was unconstitutional, as it filed the case with a federal court in Texas.

The US has urged its allies to boycott the use of Huawei’s technology in national 5G networks amidst allegations that the Beijing government could use back doors in the equipment to spy on nation states.

Huawei has vigorously denied the claims and yesterday Huawei’s chairman Guo Ping accused the US government of attempting to “smear” the company and mislead the public.

The concerns stem from a 2017 law passed by the Chinese government requiring all companies based in China to co-operate with the work of the national intelligence agencies.

In December, Canada arrested Huawei’s chief financial officer at the request of the US government following months of heightening tensions in the US’ trade dispute with the Chinese government, leading to both governments slapping billions of dollars of tariffs on one another’s’ goods.

In a statement reported by Reuters news, chief executive Guo Ping is quoted as saying: “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.”

He added: “This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming US consumers.”

The Huawei lawsuit stated: “Equipment and services are subject to advanced security procedures, and no backdoors, implants, or other intentional security vulnerabilities have been documented in any of the more than 170 countries in the world where Huawei equipment and services are used.”

Last month, the head of the UK Government’s Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)said the wider challenge of China’s emerging dominance as a global technology provider is much greater than Huawei’s involvement in 5G telecoms networks.

In a separate development last month, Huawei admitted that it would take three to five years to address security issues highlighted by a report compiled by the UK government last year, according to a letter sent to lawmakers by Ryan Ding, president of the firm’s carrier business.