Huawei has been dogged by controversy in the past six months. Photo: AFP

Huawei is about to unveil its next move in a challenge to Washington’s campaign to discredit the Chinese telecom giant, according to several news reports on Monday, this time in the form of a legal challenge in the United States.

The firm is planning to file a lawsuit against the US government, arguing that a ban prohibiting federal agencies from buying Huawei gear is unconstitutional.

A provision in the legislation underpinning the ban constitutes a “bill of attainder,” the legal action will likely argue, meaning that it targets an entity without trial. The plans are not final, according to The New York Times, which first reported the news citing multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, is also staging a challenge to legal action, in her case filing suit against Canadian authorities. Meng was detained in Vancouver, where she faces possible extradition to the US. Her lawyers contend that her rights were violated when she was arrested and detained in December.

With regard to the lawsuit filed against the US government, there is a case that may serve as a legal precedent in support of upholding the ban slapped on Huawei. In 2017, software provided by a Russian firm, Kaspersky Lab, was removed from government systems at the direction of the Department of Homeland Security amid concerns that it could be exploited for intelligence-gathering purposes.

A judge ruled that the preventive measure was proportionate to the potential risk posed by the software and the relatively limited injury the ban inflicted on the Russian firm.

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