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Huawei sues FCC over latest US federal subsidies ban

The United States Federal Communications Commission has classified Huawei as a security threat, barring US telcos from using government funds to buy Huawei’s equipment.

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Chinese telecommunication infrastructure provider Huawei has initiated legal actions against the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), alleging this government organ acted unconstitutionally in a decision involving the company, 36Kr reported citing Huawei’s announcements at a press conference held on Thursday in Shenzen.

The same day, Huawei deposited a “petition for review” in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana to overturn a verdict by the FCC blocking Huawei’s rural American carrier customers to use government funds to buy equipment from the company, according to the report.

On November 22, the FCC determined a 5-0 vote to collocate Huawei and China’s second-largest telecoms equipment maker ZTE as national security risks, also barring US telecommunication companies from tapping a USD 8.5 million federal subsidy to buy equipment or services from Huawei and ZTE, CNBC reported.

In the legal document submitted to the court, Huawei indicated that the ruling “exceeds the agency’s statutory authority and violates federal law, the Constitution, and other laws,” said CNBC.

“The cyberspace security concerns cannot be addressed by simply barring us because we are a Chinese company,” said Song Liuping, Huawei’s chief legal officer during the press conference, 36Kr reported. Song also added that FCC chairman Ajit Pai and other members have not provided any evidence to prove that Huawei poses a security threat.

Huawei and ZTE have 30 days to contest the ruling, while the final order will not be issued until next year, according to 36Kr.

The Chinese company’s new lawsuit against the FCC comes at a time when Huawei has been under fire in China for a case involving its former employee Li Hongyuan, who was detained for 251 days after the company reported to the Shenzhen police that he was suspected of committing extortion, KrASIA reported.

Li was later released as local prosecutors declined to sue him due to a lack of evidence. However, this incident, when exposed to the Chinese public, resulted in a wide-spread public relations crisis that has not shown signs of passing away.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company