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Posted on : Monday 9th March 2020 10:51 AM

Huawei Asks Court to Deem U.S. Security Law Unconstitutional

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Fighting to help maintain its access to major markets for next-generation communications, Chinese tech giant Huawei is challenging the constitutionality of a U.S. law that hinders its sales of telecom equipment.

Huawei's chief legal officer Song Liuping stated at a press briefing Wednesday that Huawei lodged a motion for summary judgment requesting the court in Plano, Texas, to rule on whether a U.S. military spending provision that bars the government and its contractors from using Huawei equipment is constitutional.

Huawei is the number one global maker of network equipment and enjoys a lead in 5G, or fifth-generation, technology. What's more, it is the No. 2 maker of smartphones. The Trump administration claims the company could use its equipment to spy on the behalf of the Chinese government and is therefore a hazard to international cybersecurity.

"This decision threatens to harm our customers in over 170 countries, including more than 3 billion customers who use Huawei products and services around the world," Song said.

Huawei, whose U.S. headquarters is in Plano, announced a lawsuit in March against the U.S. national defense law, calling the provision a "bill of attainder" that selectively punishes Huawei and violates its due process by supposing its guilt without a fair trial. The summary judgment motion seeks to accelerate the legal process to give U.S. customers access to Huawei equipment sooner, according to a Wednesday statement from Huawei.

Song said the "state-sanctioned campaign" against the company will not improve cybersecurity. "Politicians in the U.S. are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company," he said. "This is not normal."

Outside of the defense law provision, the U.S. Commerce Department lately put Huawei on its "Entity List," effectively barring U.S. firms from selling their technology to it and other Chinese firms without government approval. Huawei relies heavily on U.S. components, including computer chips, and about one-third of its suppliers are American.

The actions against Huawei are part of a wider trade war between the world's two largest economies that has both sides imposing billions of dollars of punitive tariffs over each other's products.

The argument centers on China's giant longstanding trade surplus with the U.S. and complaints that Beijing and Chinese companies use illegal techniques to acquire advanced foreign technologies.

The most recent round of negotiations between Beijing and Washington stopped earlier on this month without an agreement after Trump more than doubled duties on $200 billion in Chinese imports. China reacted by raising tariffs of 5 percent to 25 percent on $60 billion worth of American goods.

The moves against Huawei have already impacted the company's U.S. partnerships. Google said it will continue to support existing Huawei smartphones, but future devices are not going to carry its flagship apps and services, including maps, Gmail and search — a change that is likely to make Huawei phones not so appealing.

Song said the U.S. has not provided any proof to show that Huawei is a security threat. "There is no gun, no smoke, only speculation," he said, accusing the U.S. of setting a "dangerous precedent."

"Today it's telecoms and Huawei," he said. "Tomorrow it could be your industry, your company, your consumers." Song said Huawei was requesting FedEx about four packages containing paper work that were found to have been redirected to FedEx headquarters in the U.S. instead of being delivered to Huawei offices in Asia.

FedEx apologized and said the packages were misrouted by accident. It said the company wasn't told by anyone to divert the packages. Song said Huawei was aware about FedEx's apology over the incident. But the company has questioned if the diversions were entirely accidental.

"I don't think it is right for any company to intercept or detain individual documents or information. If our rights were truly infringed upon, we have the legal rights to defend ourselves," he said.

This article is originally posted on MANUFACTURING.NET

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