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Authoritarian Tech

Huawei ramps up its lawsuit in the US

Just as any new trade deal between the U.S. and China has moved from quiet negotiations to the more rancorous court of public opinion, Huawei has decided its best strategy to overcome American limits on purchases of its equipment is to accelerate its fight against the Trump administration through the courts.

In a move that would speed up the technology giant’s lawsuit against the White House, originally filed in March, Huawei is now seeking to end the process by requesting a summary judgment which could minimize costs and avoid the handing over of sensitive corporate information.

The move would also give the company the opportunity to present its arguments publicly in front of a judge in just a few months, as opposed to waiting for a trial to unfold.

Back in March, when the company announced it was suing the U.S. government over what it described as an “unconstitutional” ban on federal agencies buying its technology, Huawei accused Congress of acting as “judge, jury and executioner”.

In a press conference on Wednesday at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China, the company’s chief legal officer, Song Liuping said the U.S. government had yet to provide any evidence that Huawei was a security threat. “There is no gun, no smoke,” he said. “Only speculation.”

Earlier this month, the Trump administration introduced a block on U.S. companies selling components and software to Huawei. The tactic essentially prevents the company from purchasing computer chips and software. Huawei says it had been stockpiling U.S. manufactured components in anticipation of such an eventuality. The company is also attempting to lay out an economic argument by saying 1,200 U.S. suppliers would be hit by the block, which comes into force in August.

A hearing on Huawei’s new motion is set for September 19.

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