US judge dismisses Huawei lawsuit over government contracts ban

A federal judge has dismissed Huawei’s lawsuit challenging a US law that bars the government and its contractors from using the Chinese tech giant’s equipment because of security concerns.

The lawsuit, filed last March, sought to declare the law unconstitutional.

Huawei argued the law singled out the company for punishment, denied it due process and amounted to a “death penalty”.

But a court in Texas ruled that the ban is not punitive and that the federal government has the right to take its business elsewhere.

Attendees walk past a display for 5G services from Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing
Attendees walk past a display for 5G services from Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

Huawei, China’s first global tech brand, is at the centre of US-Chinese tensions over technology competition and digital spying.

The company has spent years trying to put to rest accusations that it facilitates Chinese spying and is controlled by the ruling Communist Party.

The lawsuit was filed in Plano, Texas, the headquarters of Huawei’s US operations.

It was dismissed before going to trial.

Experts had described Huawei’s challenge as a long shot, but said the company did not have many other options to challenge the law.

Huawei said it was disappointed and will consider further legal options.

The Trump administration has been aggressively lobbying Western allies to avoid Huawei’s equipment for next-generation, 5G networks.

Our delegation met with German Foreign Minister @HeikoMaas for a conversation focused on our vital NATO partnership with Germany — as well as the grave security concerns with Huawei 5G technology. pic.twitter.com/ezgkVgJA6g

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 16, 2020

Administration officials say Huawei can give the Chinese government backdoor access to data, allegations that the company rejects.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also spoken out against Huawei, including during a talk with reporters in Brussels on Monday, turning US opposition to Huawei into a bipartisan effort.

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