Dr. Song Liuping, Chief Legal Officer of Huawei

Relations between the US and China are worsening. Recently, the Trump administration called for an all-out ban on Huawei along with its other trade sanctions. One of the main factors for the ban was concern over cybersecurity and espionage, a claim which Huawei and Beijing have both vehemently denied.

On 29 May 2019, Huawei filed a motion for summary judgment as part of the process to challenge the constitutionality of Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorisation Act (2019 NDAA). It also called on the U.S. government to halt its state-sanctioned campaign against Huawei because it will not deliver cybersecurity.

Banning Huawei using cybersecurity as an excuse “will do nothing to make networks more secure. They provide a false sense of security, and distract attention from the real challenges we face”, said Huawei’s chief legal officer, Song Liuping. “Politicians in the US are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company”, Song noted. “This is not normal. Almost never seen in history”.

“The US government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. There is no gun, no smoke. Only speculation”, added Song.

Huawei argues that Section 889 of the 2019 NDAA singles out Huawei by name and not only prevents U.S. government agencies from buying Huawei equipment and services, but also bars them from contracting with or awarding grants or loans to third parties who buy Huawei equipment or services—even if there is no impact or connection to the U.S. government.

Song also argues that the addition of Huawei to the US “Entity List” sets a potentially dangerous precedent. “Today it’s telecoms and Huawei. Tomorrow it could be your industry, your company, your consumers”, he said.

“The judicial system is the last line of defence for justice. Huawei has confidence in the independence and integrity of the US judicial system. We hope that mistakes in the NDAA can be corrected by the court”, Song added.

Glen Nager, Huawei’s lead counsel for the case, said Section 889 of the 2019 NDAA violates the Bill of Attainder, Due Process, and Vesting Clauses of the United States Constitution. Thus, the case is purely “a matter of law” as there are no facts at issue, thereby justifying the motion for a summary judgement to speed up the process.

Huawei has made it clear that they believe the US suppression of Huawei will not do any favours for cybersecurity. They remain hopeful as they expect the US to take the right approach in implementing honest and effective measures to improve cybersecurity for all.

In line with a court scheduling order, a hearing on the motion is set for Sept. 19.