Huawei challenges legality of U.S. defense bill as sanctions fight ramps up

Huawei Technologies has filed a motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit against the U.S. government, in the telecoms equipment maker’s latest bid to fight sanctions from Washington that threaten to push it out of global markets.
Song Liuping, Chief Legal Officer of HuaweiHuawei also said the recent U.S. entity list ban has negatively impacted its more than 1,200 suppliers and threatened to affect its 3 billion end customers in 170 countries. earlier reported that the development will impact existing telecom services provided by top mobile operators and the roll out of 5G networks.

The motion, filed late on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, asks to declare the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) unconstitutional in an update to a lawsuit brought by Huawei in March.

The NDAA bill, passed into law by the U.S. Congress last summer, places a broad ban on federal agencies and their contractors from using Huawei equipment on national security grounds, citing the company’s ties with the Chinese government.

Glen Nager, partner at Jones Day and lead external counsel for Huawei, told Reuters the U.S. court had agreed on a schedule to hold hearings in September on opposing sides’ motions.

The world’s largest telecom network gear maker has recently faced greater sanctions as the U.S. commerce department on May 16 put the firm on a trade blacklist that bans companies from doing business with Huawei, in a move which immediately disrupted the global tech sector.

Huawei’s chief legal officer, Song Liuping, on Wednesday said the company was reviewing means to fight the U.S. entity list ban.

Huawei said in a statement that Washington’s use of administrative orders and laws to punish a single company “sets a very dangerous precedent”.

“Today it is telecom and Huawei, tomorrow it could be your company, your industry, your customers,” he told reporters at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen.

The ban comes amid an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies, exacerbated by separate accusations of bank fraud and corporate theft that the United States has made against Huawei and its chief financial officer.

Huawei, which has been given a 90-day reprieve from the ban, has denied that its products pose a security threat and protested Washington’s attempts to limit its business.

Vincent Pang, head of corporate communications, at Huawei, said the executive order and entity list had transcended the boundaries of normal market competition. “This could lead to the start of the fragmentation of the global tech ecosystem and standards.”

Vincent Pang also said he did not expect the political situation to delay the introduction of 5G network technology in China.

Vincent Song also wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the NDAA is a violation of due process as it directly and permanently applies to Huawei without opportunity for rebuttal or escape.