Huawei 'to sue US' over federal kit block – report

Last summer we asked FCC to have heart, but the very next day, it said No Huawei...

Huawei is to sue the American government for banning federal agencies from using the Chinese giant's network equipment, according to reports stateside.

"The lawsuit is due to be filed in the Eastern District of Texas, where Huawei has its American headquarters," two sources told The New York Times. The suit is allegedly due to be filed and announced later this week.

This comes just a three days after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou – accused by the US of violating trade sanctions against Iran and facing extradition from Canada – filed a civil claim against the Canadian government, border agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The sueball, flung on Friday in British Columbia's Supreme Court – the same day Canada officially launched her extradition process to the US – claimed Wanzhou had been detained unlawfully by border officials and then wrongfully arrested by the Mounties, breaching her civil rights.

Last summer Huawei rather optimistically asked the American Federal Communications Commission to intervene on its behalf as US government figures stepped up pressure to ban Huawei equipment from federal agencies' networks.

At the heart of the American beef with Huawei is the country's collective belief that Chinese network equipment is being, or could be, used as a tool for political and industrial espionage. To date, no evidence of wrong doing by Huawei has come to light.

There are also related concerns about competition in the network equipment sector, with Western countries in particular worrying that Huawei's competitiveness on price may see its (non-Chinese) rivals exiting the markets. If that happens, China will enjoy a de facto monopoly – something that western countries in the Five Eyes spying alliance fear will see their critical national infrastructure built, maintained and ultimately controlled by a foreign power.

Like all companies in China, Huawei is subject to Chinese Communist Party control at the highest levels and must submit to compelled assistance laws on espionage, forcing firms and their workers to help spies and other state employees. Most western nations have similar laws.

Huawei declined to comment when The Register contacted the firm this morning. We have also asked, given the British government imposed a similar ban on the use of Huawei equipment in its own networks, whether the company also intends to sue the UK, to which the answer was no comment.

Also in the background are US president Donald Trump's current trade negotiations with China.

In other Huawei news, some American senators want network-connected electrical inverters made by Huawei banned from the electrical grid, the company has denied criminal charges brought against it in America over theft of trade secrets involving a phone-bashing robot arm, and it has been struggling to deal with muted criticism from the British oversight panel which trawls through its firmware for backdoors. ®

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