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Huawei calls on US to halt 'illegal action' against the company

CNN logo CNN 5/29/2019 By Sherisse Pham, CNN Business
Huawei is fighting back against a US ban on its products.© Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images Huawei is fighting back against a US ban on its products.

Huawei is pressing on with its lawsuit against the United States, challenging the constitutionality of a US law banning federal agencies from buying its products.

The embattled Chinese tech firm said Wednesday that it was taking the lawsuit forward to "halt illegal action" against it.

American politicians are "using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company," Song Liuping, Huawei's chief legal officer, said in a press conference in Shenzhen.

Huawei has filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the court to overturn part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The tech company alleges that a portion of the law — which specifically forbids government agencies from using technology from Huawei and its smaller Chinese rival, ZTE — violates the US Constitution by singling out an individual or group for punishment without trial.

"The US government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. There is no gun, no smoke. Only speculation," Song said.

Huawei first filed the lawsuit challenging part of the National Defense Authorization Act back in March.

But that was before the United States slapped it with an export ban, effectively barring US companies from doing business with Huawei. The US Commerce Department placed Huawei on a list of foreign firms deemed to undermine American national security or foreign policy interests earlier this month. Listed companies are barred from receiving components and software unless the trade is licensed.

The Huawei lawsuit would be "a pyrrhic victory at best" in the face of the new US restrictions, said Paul Triolo, who specializes in global technology policy at Eurasia Group.

The case "looks like the last gasp of the firm's litigious approach to US actions, and if it is to survive ... the firm will have to sue for lenient treatment from the Commerce Department," said Triolo.

Huawei is the world's largest telecommunications company and its smartphones compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung.

The US export ban forced suppliers like Google and ARM Holdings to cut off ties with the Chinese company. Top carriers in the UK and Japan are also delaying the launch of Huawei smartphones.

Adding Huawei to a trade blacklist "sets a dangerous precedent," according to Song.

"Today it's telecoms and Huawei. Tomorrow it could be your industry, your company, your consumers," he said.

This story is developing.

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