back to article You won't get Huawei with this, America! Chinese giant sues US government over 'unconstitutional' ban

Huawei is suing Uncle Sam to overturn a ban on its communications hardware from US federal government computer networks. The Chinese networking gear manufacturer claims its banishment is unconstitutional because it was unfairly singled out without a fair trial, and wants the decision reversed. Specifically, on Wednesday this …

  1. rjed
    Facepalm

    Ironically the irony is not even ironic anymore..

    Every actor is just playing its own scripted part now ...

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I don't think that will happen

    The Constitution only applies to American citizens and by that default to American companies. I give it a snowball's chance in hell but then again, lately we've been having some weird stuff going on here in the States such as companies being allowed rights as "people".

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: I don't think that will happen

      I think you'll find that corporations incorporated in the US have the same or similar rights as an individual.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: I don't think that will happen

        Yes, but the government does have broad powers to exclude companies from unfriendly nations. That's part of the reason why the U.S. didn't buy much oil/gas from the Soviet Union during the 70s and 80s, when the U.S. was importing half or more of its oil.

        I wonder if there is a possibility of a defamation suit though, considering that the U.S. government is leveling accusations against Huawei, so far without evidence, which are detrimental to its public reputation and brand. The government didn't really defame eastern bloc companies during the Cold War, it just said "We don't want no damn commies selling lots of stuff in the U.S."

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: I don't think that will happen

          "I wonder if there is a possibility of a defamation suit though"

          And not just in the US. As the US has been telling other countries they should forbid Huawei kit in their countries there should be a possibility of defamation in each of those countries.

        2. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: I don't think that will happen

          Well, yes. The US government does have broad powers to exclude foreign companies. But it has to follow a bunch of rules when it does so. It appears to me that Huawei is arguing that the government has failed to play by the rules. They may well be right.

          That doesn't mean that Huawei, even if they prevail in court, is actually going to get their gear into US government IT systems. It would likely just mean that the US government might have to do a better job of making their case(s) against Huawei (and ZTE).

          1. M.V. Lipvig

            Re: I don't think that will happen

            Nope, "We are unable to release that information for security reasons." Works for a lot of things in the US these days.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I don't think that will happen

      "and by that default to American companies"

      I'm sure Huawei will have an American registered subsidiary.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: I don't think that will happen

        "I'm sure Huawei will have an American registered subsidiary."

        With a board of directors suitably populated by relatives of US legislators. Then all will be forgiven.

    3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: I don't think that will happen

      Wrong Mark. The US Constitution applies to everyone within the US and its territories regardless of citizenship or even whether they are in the country illegally That includes companies operating within US borders.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: I don't think that will happen

        Yes, but the government can and will do things like review and shut down mergers and acquisitions on national security grounds. Simply because they don't trust the country the acquiring party is from. And that is well within the law.

        We'll see how the courts rule, but if the government rolls out (justly or unjustly) the "We have evidence against Huawei, but it is classified", then the courts will probably give the government leeway. And there is the issue (unproven as yet) that Huawei is trying to undermine U.S. sanctions against Iran.

        Of course, the real issue is probably this trade spat with China, and if that is resolved then a lot of the concerns about Huawei may mysteriously abate. I don't mind the government playing hardball against the Chinese in this manner, but I do get kind of leery when they skirt the law to do so.

    4. cybersaur

      Re: I don't think that will happen

      You're 100% wrong about the Constitution only applying to American citizens. It applies to everyone within its jurisdiction.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So it's actually because Beijing can force Huawei to cooperate ?

    In that case Europe urgently needs to ban US equipment because the NSA can do and _has_ done exactly that.

    Goes to show that you need to be careful when you say something, there could be unintended consequences.

    1. A.P. Veening

      Re: So it's actually because Beijing can force Huawei to cooperate ?

      Like I wrote some time ago in a comment:

      China/Huawei: one strike for the possibility

      USA(NSA)/Cisco: three strikes for the proven abuse so OUT!

    2. M.V. Lipvig

      Re: So it's actually because Beijing can force Huawei to cooperate ?

      Europe would be wise to do so, if they want their secrets to stay secret.

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Filed in East Texas?

    ROFL

    That's where the patent trolls go to file suit.

    As this is the Federal Government they are going after, a change of venue will be the second motion put before the court.

    The first will be a motion to dismiss which will probably fail but it has to be done.

    Then the second motion will most likely be granted. East Texas knows that the Feds are a different kettle of fish from say... Apple or IBM or...

    Good luck trying to sue them in DC...

    1. Yes Me Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Filed in East Texas?

      Filed where they are incorporated, so nothing to say except: why did they incorporate in Plano,Texas in 1993 according to Bloomberg? Of course they have many other US subsidiary corporations now, also based in Plano as far as I can see.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    East Texas, down Mexico way..

    Maybe...if Huawei were to slip a certain POTUS plans for the Great Wall of China, things might go differently.

    Top it off with a promise of hoards of cheap labour and he-ho!

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: East Texas, down Mexico way..

      "Maybe...if Huawei were to slip a certain POTUS plans for the Great Wall of China, things might go differently."

      It's been thousands of years and that wall is still unfinished. I don't think Trump has that long to wait.

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: East Texas, down Mexico way..

        That Great Wall of China is just a couple of hundred years old. Some inner walls are a bit older, but that Great Wall itself is pretty young, it predates the USA by about 300 years. The major problem however isn't that it isn't finished, but that the invaders came right through it (legally, using gates as merchants) in a couple of places where they couldn't get around.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: East Texas, down Mexico way..

          I thought it was primarily designed to keep people in rather than out? I guess I am demonstrating my ignorance and half-remembered nonsense here. It's true that it's not thousands of years old, though. I cannot now correct the timescale on my joke unfortunately, so it will have to stand forever as a monument to my lack of both humour and history.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: East Texas, down Mexico way..

            Well, first of all, it's not one wall. There are various walls, built at various times by various emperors. Some were linked, others weren't, some related to older borders before China was properly China as we know it. Chinas wall building goes back to about 650BC. What we see in the photos and travelogues are the more recent Ming dynasty walls which someone quite rightly points out are not much older than the USA as a nation.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: East Texas, down Mexico way..

      and a Trump Tower and Golf Resort in Bejing wouldn't go amiss either

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's see how many Huawei executives are willing to come to America and to testify about this gross injustice.

    News is they're also won an Intellectual Property Lottery and they need to come to a US court to claim it.

  7. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    I wonder if this includes mobile phones since didn't Google use them to make their branded stuff. Or is telecommunications equipment defined as the infrastructure only?

  8. ST Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Because the US Government is somehow required to buy Huawei kit?

    Since when?

    What about any other country? Huawei now thinks they can sue just about any country who doesn't want their kit?

    Oooo, what an interesting precedent this would set. The German Government doesn't want to buy/use the Bedazzler? Sue them!

    Fuck off.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Because the US Government is somehow required to buy Huawei kit?

      "What about any other country? Huawei now thinks they can sue just about any country who doesn't want their kit?"

      Isn't this what the US want's (and already has) in it's trade deals? Companies can sue governments for not buying their stuff. Want to buy local rather than import? You'd better be able to prove what you buy is cheaper, better, whatever than importing from the US or the US company will sue you. I believe Canada already has this issue.

  9. JoMe

    Funny one. Should we start by talking about how the PRC laws around spying, tracking, monitoring of it's own people, let alone the west? How about, oh I don't know, the fact that the US is a sovereign state and can choose who it buys stuff from?

  10. Kicker of Metaphorical Cats

    Where is that ignore button?

    The US has been selectively ignoring the Constitution for so long that teaching what it really is becoming a lost art. Law says X? Oh that's fine, we will just ignore that. Constitution says Y? Oh, well that is because it was written way back when they had horses and stuff; no need to apply that here.

    As to if the US is constitutionally barred from these actions is a mute point.

  11. Fungus Bob Silver badge

    Sovereign Immunity

    In the US Federal, State and Tribal governments have sovereign immunity which basically means that you won't get far suing the government as it can tell you that it farts in you general direction *and* call you a silly wiper of other peoples bottoms.

    It's an idea we got from the English. Really.

  12. mhenriday
    Boffin

    Of course the US government will get away

    with its unconstitutional practices with regard to Huawei ; it seems extremely unlikely that the company - and its US lawyers - have any illusions about the judicial outcome of their suit. The point, I suggest, is to make it even more evident for all interested - and possibly to interest more people, in the US and elsewhere in this matter - that when the US government chooses to do so, it ignores all the rules under which it is supposed to operate....

    Henri

    1. ST Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Of course the US government will get away

      > with its unconstitutional practices with regard to Huawei [ ... ]

      Why don't you show us where exactly the US Constitution grants protection to hardware manufacturers.

      Protection from what exactly?

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