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Huawei announces legal challenge to FCC ban

By Ma Si | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-12-05 10:49
Song Liuping (middle), chief legal officer of Huawei, gives a speech in Shenzhen, Guangdong. [Provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Huawei Technologies Co on Thursday announced a legal challenge to the US Federal Communications Commission, seeking a court ruling to overturn an "unlawful" order that bans local rural telecom carriers from using federal funding to purchase the company's equipment and services.

The move is the latest push by the world's largest telecom equipment maker to pursue fair competition and treatment amid a slate of restrictions from Washington.

In a petition filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Huawei asks the court to hold the FCC’s order unlawful on the grounds that it fails to offer Huawei required due process protections in labeling Huawei as a national security threat.

"Banning a company like Huawei, just because we started in China – this does not solve cyber security challenges," Song Liuping, chief legal officer of Huawei, said.

The FCC voted last month to approve an order that imposes limitations on the use of an $8.5 billion government fund to purchase equipment or services from companies, including Huawei, deemed a threat to national security.

Song Liuping, chief legal officer of Huawei, gives a speech in Shenzhen, Guangdong. [Provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Song said both FCC chairman Ajit Pai and other FCC commissioners failed to present any evidence to prove their claim that Huawei constitutes a security threat, and ignored the facts and objections raised by Huawei and rural carriers after the FCC first made the proposal in March 2018.

"Huawei also submitted 21 rounds of detailed comments, explaining how the order will harm people and businesses in remote areas. The FCC ignored them all," he said.

"Carriers across rural America, in small towns in Montana, Kentucky, and farms in Wyoming – they choose to work with Huawei because they respect the quality and integrity of our equipment," Song added. "The FCC should not shut down joint efforts to connect rural communities in the US."

This is the latest legal move by the Shenzhen-based company to target US government restrictions. Huawei sued the US government earlier this year over a measure that bars federal agencies from using its products.

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