Chinese tech giant Huawei is challenging a U.S. law that labels the company a security risk and would limit its access to the American market for telecom equipment and sales.
Huawei Technologies Ltd.’s lawsuit, announced Thursday, demands a federal court to reject as unconstitutional a portion of this year’s U.S. military appropriations act that bars the government and its contractors from using Huawei equipment or products.
It comes as the biggest global maker of network equipment fights a U.S. campaign to persuade allies to shun Huawei and it advances in the network world. That effort will eventually threaten to block access to major markets as phone carriers prepare to invest billions of dollars in next-generation, 5G networks, the upcoming storm in mobile internet.
The complaint, filed in Plano, Texas, the headquarters of Huawei’s U.S. operations, cites the framers of the U.S. Constitution, including Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, in arguing that the law in question violates the constitutional separation of powers, denies due process and amounts to a “Bill of Attainder” that singles out a specific entity for adverse treatment.
It says the law causes the company “concrete and particularized injury, and imminent future injury” and subjects it to a “burden that is severe, permanent and inescapable” that amounts to a corporate “death penalty.”
Huawei, China’s first global tech brand, is at the center of U.S.-Chinese tensions over technology competition and cyber-spying. The company has spent years trying to put to rest accusations it facilitates Chinese spying or is controlled by the ruling Communist Party.
Huawei has pleaded not guilty to U.S. trade-theft charges after a federal court in Seattle unsealed a 10-count indictment in January against two of its units, Huawei Device Co. and Huawei Device USA. The charges include conspiracy to steal trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
The company’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, is fighting extradition to the U.S. after she was arrested in Vancouver, Canada on Dec. 1. U.S. prosecutors have filed charges accusing Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, of lying to banks about dealings with Iran.
Huawei denies any wrongdoing.