ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images
Huawei Router With Spooky Lighting Isabel Infantes Afp Via Getty Images

Huawei’s Government Discrimination Suit Dismissed by Federal Judge

Feb. 20, 2020
The judge ruled that banning government contractors from using Huawei equipment isn’t punitive.

In March of 2019, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. sued the U.S. government for banning its contractors from using Huawei equipment: On February 18, they were disappointed. The Associated Press reports that the judge on the case dismissed the lawsuit before it went to trial.

Huawei’s argument called the United States’ law banning defense contractors a “bill of attainder,” or a law that unfairly targets an individual for punishment outside of due process. Bills of attainder are unconstitutional under Article 1, section 9, which also forbids “ex post facto” or “after the fact” laws. The court dismissed that charge by ruling that the ban isn’t designed to punish Huawei.

In a statement released in March when the complaint was filed, Huawei said the ban, called “section 889,” was “based on numerous false, unproven, and untested propositions.” The statement reiterated Huawei’s stance that they are neither controlled nor influenced by the Chinese government, and further argued that the ban would stifle the development of 5G networks in the United States.

The ruling comes about a week after the United States Department of Justice charged Huawei with conspiracy to commit racketeering and renewed accusations the Chinese company concealed its efforts to steal intellectual property from American companies and conduct illegal trade with Iran and North Korea. A statement from Huawei in response responded, saying the US government is “using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company” and that the DoJ was reintroducing civil cases as criminal ones.

When Huawei brought the lawsuit, company chairman Guo Ping described the move as a “last resort.” Huawei is reportedly “disappointed” by the dismissal, and will continue to consider further legal options.

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