Published: Fri, March 08, 2019
Business | By Pearl Harrison

Long before Trump's trade war with China, Huawei's activities were secretly tracked

Long before Trump's trade war with China, Huawei's activities were secretly tracked

Huawei has announced plans to sue the United States government in the latest battle between the Chinese technology giant and lawmakers.

Huawei said it had filed a complaint in a federal court in Texas challenging Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump in August, which bars federal agencies and their contractors from procuring its equipment and services.

The year ended with the arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer (CFO) in Canada at US request, to the consternation of China.

Long before Trump initiated a trade war with China, Huawei's activities were under scrutiny by USA authorities, according to interviews with 10 people familiar with the Huawei probes and documents related to the investigations seen by Reuters.

US authorities "have hacked our servers and stolen our emails" but have presented no evidence to support their security claims, Guo said.

Huawei's rotating chairman Guo Ping speaks during a press conference in Shenzhen, China on March 7, 2019.

"The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products".

"Huawei is showing that it will not roll over on the USA full-court press", Eurasia Group tech expert Paul Triolo told CNN on Thursday.

"It is not likely to result in Huawei gaining new access to the U.S. market".

All of this allegedly stems from national security concerns due to Huawei's country of origin and possible connection to China's government.

Huawei says it supplies 45 of the world's top 50 telecom companies.

European governments are balking at US pressure to ban Huawei.

Several legal experts pointed to a November 2018 decision by a federal appeals court rejecting a similar bill of attainder claim by Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, whose anti-virus software was banned from USA government networks by legislation in 2017.

Huawei hopes that the court will find out that the restrictions on Huawei in the NDAA were unconstitutional and a permanent injunction prohibiting the implementation of the restriction will be issued.

Chinese officials and some industry experts say the USA government might be overstating security concerns to limit competition with Western telecom companies.

This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming US consumers.

It is reported that Huawei has evidence that the USA government is suspected of invading Huawei servers. The indictment says investigators found "suggested talking points" on one of her electronic devices, stating among other things that Huawei's relationship with Skycom was "normal business cooperation".

"I don't see how (Huawei) can really escape that result", said Schwinn.

The ban is "based on numerous false, unproven and untested propositions", the company's chief legal officer, Song Liuping, said at the news conference.

The company has about 40 percent of the global market for network gear but its US sales evaporated after a congressional panel in 2012 cited the company and a Chinese competitor, ZTE Corp., as security risks and told phone carriers to avoid dealing with them.

So, for Meng, too, the most likely positive outcome would be for a relatively lenient plea deal, given that under federal law, the charges she faces in Brooklyn carry as much as 30 years in prison.

"There are issues arising out of the treatment of Ms. Meng upon her arrival at the Vancouver International Airport and her detention and subsequent arrest", lawyer Peck said on Wednesday.

Meng - Ren's daughter - is accused by the United States of bank and wire fraud related to breaches of trade sanctions against Iran.

Separately, Meng, who is fighting extradition, is suing Canada's government for procedural wrongs in her arrest. The next court hearing is set for May 8.

On Monday, the Chinese government accused the two men of acting together to steal state secrets.

Relations between Canada and China have deteriorated sharply since Meng's arrest. China has subsequently charged two Canadians with spying, a move that's largely seen as retaliation for Meng's detention.

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