By Hallie Detrick
March 4, 2019

Huawei is preparing to sue the United States government, according to The New York Times.

The Chinese telecommunications company will reportedly allege that the U.S. is unfairly blocking federal agencies from using its equipment, following U.S. government statements that it views Huawei as a security threat. The U.S. fears the company is too close to the Chinese government, and that, once installed, its equipment could allow China to spy on Americans or disrupt essential services.

The potential lawsuit could force the U.S. to make their arguments against Huawei explicitly and publicly. Last week at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, Huawei executives demanded the U.S. show evidence that their technology is vulnerable to Chinese espionage, and a lawsuit could force the government to do just that.

A legal filing would likely rely on a U.S. law that says bills passed by Congress cannot single out a person or a group for punishment without a trial. A 2018 defense spending bill specifically named Huawei and fellow Chinese telecoms firm ZTE, and forbade executive agencies from using telecommunications equipment manufactured by either company.

Rumors of the lawsuit follow on the heels of the news that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is suing Canada for breaching her civil rights when she was arrested in December at the instruction of U.S. officials. Meng was suspected of participating in the violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran and stealing technology from T-Mobile. The U.S. has requested her extradition, and Canada is in the process of setting a date for a hearing to begin.

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