Huawei Launches Fresh Legal Challenge Against US Ban


Chinese networking giant launches second legal challenge to US exclusion order for rural mobile operators buying Huawei equipment

Huawei Technologies has launched a second legal challenge against the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), over its decision to classify the networking giant as a national security threat.

Huawei announced on Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit in New Orleans challenging a recent FCC decision that prohibits American carriers from using federal subsidies to purchase Huawei equipment.

The Chinese vendor was also dealt a fresh blow this week when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted that the UK could still exclude Huawei from 5G networks over intelligence sharing concerns.

MWC 2017 FCC Ajit Pai

Huawei lawsuit

Huawei had first sued the US government in March this year, over a measure in the National Defence Authorisation Act that bans US government agencies from buying Huawei equipment.

And now the Chinese firm is filing its second lawsuit against American officials.

Song Liuping, Huawei’s chief legal officer, is quoted as saying by CNN at a press conference Thursday that FCC chairman Ajit Pai is targeting Huawei because it “is a Chinese company, that’s his only excuse.”

“He has tried to spread fear about Huawei. He uses words like ‘back door’ to scare people, but offers no proof,” Song added.

The decision to sue came after the FCC restricted rural mobile providers in the US using a $8.5bn (£6.5bn) government fund to buy Huawei equipment.

Despite the US Commerce department in November granting its third 90-day extension to the reprieve that allows American firms to trade with China’s Huawei – the US is maintaining its pressure on the Chinese vendor.

This week during the NATO gathering in Watford, UK, the US President Donald Trump insisted that Huawei remains a security risk.

Entity list

Huawei is currently on the US entity list, having been placed there ever since President Trump signed an executive order in May.

In August US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the US government would extend a reprieve that allows US companies to trade with Huawei for another 90 days.

Secretary Ross also promised the US government would issue licences for American companies to sell to China’s Huawei “very shortly”.

And Microsoft was then granted a licence to export its software to the Chinese vendor. Huawei is a major manufacturer of laptops in China.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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