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Huawei sues FCC in fight for greater share in US market

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Washington D.C. | December 5, 2019 6:42:56 PM IST
Chinese tech giant Huawei on Thursday sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for unleashing new regulations that intend to choke the limited business that the company has left in the United States.

Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker and a leading smartphone brand, said that it has filed a lawsuit in a New Orleans court challenging a recent FCC decision that prohibits American carriers from using federal subsidies to purchase Huawei equipment, CNN reported.

Huawei's chief legal officer Song Liuping told reporters that FCC chairman Ajit Pai is targeting Huawei because it "is a Chinese company, that's his only excuse."

"He has tried to spread fear about Huawei. He uses words like 'back door' to scare people, but offers no proof," Liuping added.

Huawei's lawsuit argues that the FCC order is unlawful because it gives no evidence of the national security threat that the company poses, which is in violation of the US Constitution and other laws. The company has made similar arguments in other litigation against the US government.

The latest lawsuit is part of Huawei's broader strategy of fighting Washington's pressure campaign on the Chinese company through US courts and public opinion.

In March, Huawei sued the US government over a law that banned federal agencies from buying its products. Huawei executives have published op-eds in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, insisting that it is a private company and "not a tool of the Chinese government."

The company has also dramatically upped its spending on Washington lobbyists to nearly USD 1.9 million in the first nine months of this year, compared to USD 165,000 in 2018, according to Open Secrets, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group based in Washington.

In an interview with CNN Business last week, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said the FCC decision goes against "the bedrock principle [of the US political system] because the US government should serve the best interests of Americans."

But Washington says Huawei poses a national security threat and has taken several steps to curb its business, including barring US companies from supplying the Chinese firm with key tech and software.

The Trump administration has also argued that installing Huawei's equipment in US networks could allow Chinese spies to eavesdrop on sensitive US communications. Huawei denies the allegations, and says none of its products pose a national security risk.

In addition, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, also speaking at the NATO summit on Wednesday, toughened his stance against the Chinese company. (ANI)

 
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