March 5, 2019 – Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co. is preparing to sue the U.S. government for barring federal agencies from using the company’s products, the New York Times said last night, citing two anonymous sources.
The U.S. government has expressed concerns that Huawei products may facilitate spying and disrupt communication networks and has been pushing its allies to ban Huawei from public procurement.
Huawei plans to announce this week the suit is to be filed in the Eastern District of Texas, where its American headquarters is located, the newspaper said. However, the plans are not final and the company could still decide to change course, it added.
In the suit, the company is likely to challenge a section of a defense spending authorization law that was approved last year, arguing that the provision is a “bill of attainder,” or a legislative act that singles out a person or group for punishment without trial, the New York Times quoted one of the sources as saying. Congress cannot pass such bills under the Constitution, the paper added.
In August 2018, the United States enacted the National Defense Authorization Act to ban the government’s use of technology products and services of Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese communication business, out of concern over their connections with Chinese intelligence agencies. Huawei has denied the allegations.
Beijing has criticized the U.S. move, saying it is unthinkable that the Chinese government asks the country’s companies to conduct illegal acts overseas.
Tensions between the United States and China have also flared over the arrest in Vancouver last December of Meng Wangzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, and her planned extradition to the United States at Washington’s request for contravening U.S. sanctions on businesses dealing with Iran.
U.S. actions against Huawei, which is a leader in the field of next generation 5G mobile communications networks, has fueled some suspicion that the United States is attempting to undermine China’s “Made in 2025” plan to turn the country into a “strong manufacturing power” in advanced technologies.