Huawei sues U.S. government for unjust ban
In a press conference held today, May 29, in Shenzen, China, Huawei’s chief legal officer Dr. Song Liuping announced that the company is suing the U.S. government for its unjust campaign.
Huawei has filed a motion for summary judgment to challenge the constitutionality of Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (2019 NDAA), which the U.S. government cited as basis for banning trade relations the Chinese manufacturer. Effectively, this ban has prompted huge tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Intel, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and the UK-based ARM Holdings to sever ties with Huawei.
Banning Huawei using cybersecurity as an excuse “will do nothing to make networks more secure. They provide a false sense of security, and distract attention from the real challenges we face,” said Liuping. “Politicians in the U.S. are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company. This is not normal. Almost never seen in history. The U.S. government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. There is no gun, no smoke. Only speculation,” he added.
In the complaint, Huawei contested that the invocation of Section 889 of the 2019 NDAA singles out Huawei by name. It not only barred U.S. government agencies from buying Huawei equipment and services, it also hinders third-party contractors from doing business with the company regardless if the deal will have a direct impact or connection to the U.S. government.
Song also addressed the addition of Huawei to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Entity List, calling it “a dangerous precedent.” Nonetheless, the company is keeping its hopes up that the U.S. justice system will deliver a fair judgement on the matter. A hearing on the motion is already set for September 19.
Full statement from Song Luiping
Below is the full written statement from Dr. Song Liuping:
“The British Parliament once levied sentences against purported conspirators seeking to overthrow the crown. As a result, the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from passing any “bill of attainder”—a law punishing a person or group without a trial.
“Lawmakers last summer enacted a bill of attainder targeting Huawei, a successful, privately owned and operated Chinese technology company. The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act places a broad ban on certain Huawei equipment: Federal agencies may not procure it, federal contractors may not use it, and federal loan and grant recipients may not use government funds to buy it.
“The law applies to other companies if the defense secretary ‘reasonably believes’—subject to judicial review—that they are ‘owned or controlled’ by, or ‘otherwise connected to,’ the Chinese government. But it directly and permanently applies to Huawei without opportunity for rebuttal or escape.
“Huawei has sued and on Tuesday will file a motion for summary judgment asking the court to declare the law unconstitutional. The ban is a quintessential bill of attainder and a violation of due process. Its congressional sponsors promoted it as a punishment both for alleged prior misdeeds and unsubstantiated allegations that the company is associated with the Chinese government—all of which Huawei vigorously denies.
“Moreover, the law provides Huawei with no opportunity to rebut the accusations, to present evidence in its defense, or to avail itself of other procedures that impartial adjudicators provide to ensure a fair search for the truth. Rather, the law simply pronounces Huawei’s guilt and imposes vast restrictions with the express purpose of driving Huawei out of the U.S. market. This is the tyranny of “trial by legislature” that the U.S. Constitution prohibits.
“Even if it were constitutional, the law would do little to advance national security or strengthen the security of government information networks. It does not address the alleged global-supply chain risks from equipment that uses Chinese components or software; it merely targets Huawei. It doesn’t even prevent federal agencies from continuing to use Huawei equipment; it merely prohibits new purchases. And it imposes no restriction on the use of equipment manufactured by the Chinese government’s joint ventures with other major telecommunications companies.
“At the same time, the 2019 NDAA perversely undermines the technological and economic interests of the United States. Huawei is the world’s leading innovator in network switching equipment, including 5G. Impeding Huawei’s ability to sell equipment in the U.S. reduces competition, thereby raising prices and constraining access to internet services, particularly in rural and remote parts of the U.S., where Huawei’s competitors have chosen not to do business.
“Other governments around the world understand that Huawei is not a tool of the Chinese government, and that the company wants to work to improve cybersecurity and provide the best technologies at affordable prices. These other governments are moving forward with Huawei, while the U.S. is not. The American people’s best hope may lie in the rule of law—that U.S. courts, as they have done with prior bills of attainder and violations of due process, will declare the Huawei ban unconstitutional and prohibit its enforcement.”