ast by the United States as a Beijing-linked security threat, Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is now going fully on the counter-offensive, filing a lawsuit against the United States over a ban which restricts federal agencies from using its products.
At an English-language press conference on Thursday in the city of Shenzhen, Rotating Chairman Guo Ping declared that the US had repeatedly failed to produce any actual evidence to support its restrictions against Huawei, charging that the ban is therefore unconstitutional, accusing Congress of acting as “judge, jury, and executioner.”
Huawei vs. The United States of America. Here’s the heart of the lawsuit: Huawei says the USG spending bill singles it out unfairly without trial and deprives it of freedom to do business by judging it guilty as a tool of Beijing and threat to U.S. security. pic.twitter.com/F5REe8H9wS
— Paul Mozur (@paulmozur) March 7, 2019
Guo added that, despite US assertions, Huawei is “not owned, controlled, or influenced” by the Chinese government and even went on to accuse the US government of hacking company servers and stealing emails — without actually providing any evidence to back up this claim.
China’s foreign ministry has said that Huawei suing the US is “absolutely appropriate and reasonable.”
The lawsuit is just one part of Huawei’s ongoing campaign aimed at clearing its name after being labeled a national security threat by several countries around the globe. Back in January, founder Ren Zhengfei did his part, giving a rare interview in which he declared that Huawei does not spy for the Chinese government and would refuse if asked— a move that would violate national intelligence law.
The company has taken out ads in foreign newspapers, including a full-page one in the Wall Street Journal headlined “Don’t believe everything you hear” which invited foreign reporters to come and tour its campuses in China and ask questions.
— Adam Janofsky (@AdamJanofsky) February 28, 2019
While some journalists rebuffed this invitation that hasn’t stopped Huawei from attempting to win them over in other ways. For instance, Reuters reports that “close to 10 senior Reuters journalists have been approached recently by Huawei recruiters for public relations director roles, with some offered annual pay packages of $200,000.”
The company has even launched a Twitter account called Huawei Facts which tweets “the official truth and facts about Huawei.” Thursday’s press conference was live-streamed on the account, though it cut off at an interesting time.
I watched the Huawei presser on the @HuaweiFacts live feed, in which a Huawei spokesman said the company is the ‘most open and transparent orgs in the world’. Then when it was time for the journalists to ask questions, Huawei ended the feed. Seriously? https://t.co/GXRoxMMw6K
— Bill Birtles (@billbirtles) March 7, 2019
Meanwhile, Huawei has another legal battle on its hands in Canada where Meng Wanzhou, Huawei chief financial officer and daughter of Ren Zhengfei, is facing extradition to the US over violating sanctions against Iran. Despite protests from Beijing, Ottawa has decided to proceed with Meng’s extradition. She now has a court date set for May 8th.