Embattled Chinese telecom group Huawei will sue the United States after being barred from selling its products to US government agencies.
The giant tech company announced on Thursday that it would file a suit in a Texas district court, challenging a government defense bill which effectively blocks it from doing business in America.
“The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products. We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort,” Guo Ping, the rotating chairman of Huawei, said in a statement.
“If this law is set aside, as it should be, Huawei can bring more advanced technologies to the United States and help it build the best 5G networks.”
The decision by China’s leading telecom company is the latest chapter in the ongoing battle with Washington.
Huawei is a key player in the global rollout of super-fast 5G networks, while its smartphones have broken the stranglehold of Apple and Samsung in the consumer sector.
Yet for years, the US has been suspicious that the Chinese government could use Huawei equipment to spy on other nations, without providing specific evidence.
In response, the group has denied any of its products pose a security risk.
“The US government is sparing no effort to smear the company,” Guo said at a news conference at the company’s headquarters in the southern city of Shenzhen.
He also claimed that US government agencies “had hacked” Huawei “servers and stolen emails and source code.” But he declined to provide details.
Washington has been urging governments to shun the group when it comes to 5G, despite the fact that Huawei is a worldwide leader in telecom infrastructure.
Concerns over security issues have been highlighted by the US Justice Department.
Reacting to the accusations, media recluse and company founder Ren Zhengfei has rolled out a charm offensive in a series of interviews.
At the same time, Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is Ren’s daughter, faces potential extradition from Canada to the US over charges of violating Iran sanctions.
She now faces a May 8 hearing in Vancouver, where she was arrested in December.
Still, this latest move by Huawei has simply ratcheted up the pressure.
“Huawei is showing that it will not roll over,” Paul Triolo, an expert on global tech at consultancy Eurasia Group, told CNN.
“It is not likely to result in Huawei gaining new access to the US market. But it is a symbolic marker that could influence other players around the world considering potential limitations or bans against the firm,” he added.
– additional reporting AFP