Huawei challenges US ban in district court, labels move “unconstitutional”

“Huawei has filed a lawsuit against the US National Defense Authorization Act (2018) for alleging acts of espionage against the Chinese electronics giant.”

In a move that was long awaited, Huawei has filed a lawsuit at a district court in Texas, labelling the ban to be “unconstitutional”. To recall, the government of the United States of America has put a blanket ban on any hardware, software and services rendered by Chinese electronics giants Huawei and ZTE. The restriction, Huawei claims, is unlawful, is in violation of the US constitution, and eventually harms consumers while not giving Huawei a chance to respond to the said allegations. 

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The company’s deputy chairman, Guo Ping has accused the US Congress of acting as the “judge, jury and executioner” as it imposed a federal ban on any telecommunications services manufactured and sold by Huawei and the fellow Chinese company, ZTE. The move was seemingly made to uphold national security amidst allegations of espionage and surveillance that Huawei’s products were secretly equipped to carry out in the country. The company, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, has since been banned from operating in the USA, and federal agencies have been prohibited in engaging in trade with them.

The ban has come as part of the United States National Defense Authorization Act (2018), which was signed by US President Donald Trump back in August 2018. Specifically, section 889 of the act enforces the ban, and restricts government spending on any equipment manufactured by Huawei and ZTE. Furthermore, alongside restricting official usage of Huawei’s technology and completely removing any equipment made by them, the US government has also expressed concerns of privacy, data surveillance and national security upon its citizens, which Huawei now claims is “unconstitutional” and anti-competitive in relations to the telecommunications industry. 

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Huawei’s lawsuit states that the nature of the ban, wherein the company has not been allowed to come up with a response as yet, goes against the US constitution. Singling out an individual or group due to suspected anti-national activity without giving a trial or hearing has been deemed as a violation of the concerned entity’s right to defend themselves, and Huawei now aims to enforce the same. Deputy chairman Ping has further stated that the US Congress has “repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products,” before further adding, “we are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort.

Huawei has been one of the biggest vendors of the technology that provides infrastructure for ultra-fast 5G mobile networks, which itself is set to spread out across the world over the upcoming years. The Donald Trump government has alleged that the Chinese government could be using Huawei’s global prowess in technology to carry out acts of espionage, without really publishing concrete evidence of the same. That said, many other countries are wary of the same grounds for which Huawei is facing such a situation in the United States. For instance, Huawei and its equipment are already banned in Australia, while Germany and the United Kingdom are presently deciding on the restrictions that are to be imposed. 


Huawei however, has claimed that they are a people-run company, which is why the allegations and the restriction are unlawful, unless proved otherwise. The filing of the lawsuit has certainly escalated the stand-off to a new level, although it’s unlikely that Huawei will find ground to claw back into the US, deemed to be one of the world’s largest electronics markets. The US government is yet to respond to Huawei’s lawsuit at the time of filing the story, although further escalation of events is bound to happen. 

A lover of anything that has a circuit and involves physics, Shouvik is passionate about technology, science and journalism in equal parts. When not at work, he prefers reading up on ancient history, sports and engineering, going on random photography expeditions, and occasionally a long solo drive. He's also neck-deep into science fiction, and is working on a debut novel that he hopes will one day be read by Steven Erikson.
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