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Huawei’s legal chief says US equipment ban 'not normal', fear of security threat 'only speculation'

Song Liuping says it hopes the “mistakes” in the National Defence Authorization Act can be corrected in court, after Huawei filed a motion for summary judgment against the law barring federal agencies from buying its products.

SINGAPORE: The US legislation barring its federal agencies from buying Huawei products is “not normal”, and using this as an excuse “will do nothing to make networks more secure”, according to the under-fire Chinese company’s chief legal officer Song Liuping on Wednesday (May 29).

Song said in the press release that 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,” he said. 

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

The executive added: “Politicians in the US are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company. This is not normal. Almost never seen in history.”

READ: Huawei asks US court to throw out federal ban

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Huawei on Wednesday filed a motion for summary judgment as part of the process to challenge the constitutionality of Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

In the complaint, the company argued that this legislation singles out Huawei by name and it not only bars US agencies from buying its equipment and services, the press release said.

It added that the move also prevents them from contracting with or awarding grants or loans to third-parties who buy Huawei equipment or services, regardless of whether there is an impact or connection to the US government,

This, said Huawei chief legal officer Song Liuping, is tantamount to a bill of attainder targeting the company. 

He wrote in a Wall Street Journal commentary on Monday that the bill of attainder is a law punishing a person or group without a trial, and it’s something the United States Constitution prohibits Congress from passing.

A hearing on the motion is set for Sep 19, the company said.

Huawei said in its press release that US “suppression” against the company will not help make networks more secure, and it expects the country to take the right approach and adopt honest and effective measures to enhance cybersecurity for everyone, “if the US government’s real goal is security”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said last week the company is not truthful about its relationship with China’s government and that means any data the company touches is “at risk” of falling into the wrong hands. 

He also said Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei is not telling the American people the truth.

The NDAA legal challenge comes as Huawei also faces a broader US executive order preventing the use of its equipment in the country and a more damaging US action to blacklist the company, cutting it off from critical American-made components for its products, though a 90-day reprieve has been issued.

READ: Huawei badly needs the Chinese government, tech rivals to back its OS plans  - an analysis

On this, Song said the addition of Huawei to the US Commerce Department’s Entity List “sets a dangerous precedent”.

He said: “Today it’s telecoms and Huawei. Tomorrow it could be your industry, your company, your consumers.”

Source: CNA/kk


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