Huawei Sues US Over Detained Telecom Equipment


Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Commerce Department over telecommunications equipment.

The lawsuit centers on whether the equipment is covered by Export Administration Regulations. In its filing, Huawei explained that it shipped the telecommunications equipment, including a computer server and Ethernet switch, from China to a testing laboratory in California. After the testing was completed, everything was shipped back to China, leading the company to believe that an application for a license was not needed.

However, the equipment was seized in Alaska by the U.S. government, and no decision has been made about whether a license is required to ship it.

“The equipment, to the best of HT USA’s knowledge, remains in a bureaucratic limbo in an Alaskan warehouse,” Huawei said in its lawsuit, according to Reuters.

Huawei has asked for the equipment to be either released or for the Commerce Department to decide that it was shipped illegally.

Last month Huawei was placed on the blacklist, which means it can’t do business in the U.S. That is seen as a huge blow to the company and something that even the U.S. government is looking to ease. The U.S. Department of Commerce said recently it may scale back some of the restrictions on the company to prevent any interruptions to existing network operations and equipment. It’s not clear what impact the lawsuit will have.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said at the time that the ban in the U.S. will hurt the lead the company has built over the past two years. The firm even requested that a judge toss out the ban.

“The fact is, the U.S. government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. There is no gun, no smoke. Only speculation,” said Huawei chief legal officer Dr. Song Liuping. “We hope that mistakes in the NDAA can be corrected by the court.” The executive went on to criticize lawmakers in the U.S., saying politicians are using “the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company. This is not normal.”