Huawei said to be preparing to sue US government

Huawei's suit is likely to argue that the provision is a "bill of attainder," or a legislative act that singles out a person or group for punishment without trial, according to a New York Times report. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Chinese telecoms equipment company Huawei plans to announce a lawsuit against the United States government on Thursday (March 7) on grounds related to a defence Bill, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Huawei is preparing to announce that it is suing the US government in a court in Texas by challenging an addition to the US National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) signed last year, according to the source.

The new NDAA act, which Beijing had condemned as targeting China, controlled US government contracts with Chinese companies including Huawei and strengthened the role of the panel that reviews foreign investment proposals.

The New York Times first reported Huawei's planned legal move on Monday (March 4), citing two people familiar with the matter.

Huawei declined to comment. It invited Reuters and other international media to a press conference at its Shenzhen headquarters in China on Thursday.

Such a move would be the latest in a series of responses from the Chinese company as Washington tries to persuade allies to ban Huawei from business, alleging espionage risks. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claims.

On Sunday, the lawyers for Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou sued the Canadian government, its border agency and federal police, alleging that their client was detained, searched and interrogated for three hours, in violation of her constitutional rights.

That comes after Canada approved a hearing last Friday on a US extradition request for Meng on charges related to breaking Iran sanctions.

The New York Times cited a source as saying Huawei's suit is likely to argue that the NDAA provision is a "bill of attainder", or a legislative act that singles out a person or group for punishment without trial, according to the newspaper report.

Canada arrested Meng in Vancouver on Dec 1 at the request of the US, which has brought sweeping charges against her and China's Huawei that portray the company as a threat to US national security.

Meng was charged with bank and wire fraud to violate American sanctions against Iran.

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