back to article Huawei 'to sue US' over federal kit block – report

Huawei is to sue the American government for banning federal agencies from using the Chinese giant's network equipment, according to reports stateside. "The lawsuit is due to be filed in the Eastern District of Texas, where Huawei has its American headquarters," two sources told The New York Times. The suit is allegedly due to …

  1. colinb

    This year ... helping save my job

    i'll give it to someone American.

    but seriously exactly how far ahead technically is Huawei in 5g, and if stealing was a source of some of this surely they would be behind the company they stole from.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: This year ... helping save my job

      Time for the US to put up (any evidence they might have about Huawei spying) or shut up

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: This year ... helping save my job

      "if stealing was a source of some of this surely they would be behind the company they stole from."

      Unless, you know, you nick a bunch of stuff and then work from that. You don't have to replicate all of the original basic stuff, like designing a robot hand. You just steal it.

  2. msknight

    I'd appreciate some insight please

    I don't understand how Huawei can sue the US government. On what basis can they do this? If they were an American company, I could see it. But not being American, I can't see how they can demand access to the US market, or recompense for being denied access.

    1. Hans 1
      Facepalm

      Re: I'd appreciate some insight please

      re-read article, American head quaters. So, Huawei US is suing.

      1. msknight

        Re: I'd appreciate some insight please

        But if Kapersky's attempt to sue was thrown out on the basis that the government were protecting against foreign government intrusion... then Huawei is likely to go the same way... only possibly quicker. That's what I don't understand.

        1. ST Silver badge

          Re: I'd appreciate some insight please

          > [ ... ] Huawei is likely to go the same way... only possibly quicker.

          Huawei can sue, but they have no chance in hell of winning. It's mostly a PR move on Huawei's part.

          The moment the US Government claims National Security, the Courts will defer, and that's the end of the lawsuit.

          1. martinusher Silver badge

            Re: I'd appreciate some insight please

            >Huawei can sue, but they have no chance in hell of winning. It's mostly a PR move on Huawei's part.

            I think this suit might be a rather smart move. You have to look at the bigger picture -- the US government is openly interfering in commerce and banking to further its political interests by instituting numerous sanctions regimes against governments and individuals and expropriation of assets. Individually they might not amount to much but put together they paint a picture of an unreliable, capricious, government that won't abide by treaties, agreements or contracts. Huawei may appear to be suing over its product ban but when it loses its going to have a very powerful sales tool -- not only does our kit work and is attractively priced but you won't be left stranded because some American politician or bureaucrat in DC has a bad hair day. (Ask Norwegian about how much leaving a brand new airliner in Iran for a couple of months cost -- screwed over because of sanctions.)

            As for the network security issue, Huawei had just one word on the subject -- PRISM.

            Sanctions and other economic warfare tools have to be used judiciously. We in the US seem to have forgotten this, or otherwise grown so arrogant that we feel that the world has no other choice than to dance to our tune. This level of hubris is inviting disaster.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile watching carefully ....

    are any number of companies looking to sue the UK government for trashing their profits thanks to Brexit. Starting with the Japanese who have invested billions on the basis that the UK was in the EU.

    Win or lose (and the UKs capitulation to Eurotunnel suggests an awful lot of cases being settled out of court - and the public eye) that's money that isn't going to the NHS.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

      Not a valid comparison. Brexit is just awful policy, if you could sue governments for awful policy most countries would be bankrupt.

      In this case Huawei are right that US can't ban specifically their products only, without any more specific reason than "they're Chinese". If NSA etc have proof of pwnage or attempted such, they should demonstrate. Otherwise it's just trumpian hot air

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

        "In this case Huawei are right that US can't ban specifically their products only, without any more specific reason than "they're Chinese". If NSA etc have proof of pwnage or attempted such, they should demonstrate. Otherwise it's just trumpian hot air"

        Except here's the proof:

        1) Huawei is Chinese.

        2) There is a Chinese law that says Huawei has to backdoor its stuff if China wants.

        3) Proved that it is a risk.

        Whether the Chinese government has invoked the law is irrelevant; Huawei, and every other Chinese company, became a security risk as soon as it looked plausible that China would do such a thing. passing an explicit law saying they can definitely makes it plausible.

        1. Mephistro

          Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

          "2) There is a Chinese law that says Huawei has to backdoor its stuff if China wants."

          Agreed and upvoted, but I'd like to add that the USA has similar laws that have already been used to 'control' electronics equipment exported to other countries, including USA allies.

          IMHO the solution would consist in:

          1) Forbid the import of electronic goods -either "connected" consumer electronics or data infrastructure equipment- from countries with similar laws. This way these countries would be pressed to remove such laws.

          2) Even for countries that don't have similar laws, mandatory audits on electronic products, performed with government funds or by a government entities.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Mark Exclamation

              Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

              Why would anyone buy a warplane (or anything else, for that matter) from the US, if they needed permission to use use it?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

                Why would anyone buy a warplane (or anything else, for that matter) from the US, if they needed permission to use use it?

                First time you try to fly, you will have to agree to the EULA...... Then when in the air - probably during combat, there will be an update that you can't skip and will do a reboot......

                EDIT - and it will steal your data for "marketing purposes"

        2. Yes Me Silver badge

          Details please [Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....]

          "There is a Chinese law that says Huawei has to backdoor its stuff if China wants."

          Kindly give details of that law.

          1. msknight

            Re: Details please [Meanwhile watching carefully ....]

            Apparently, a recent article on WIRED reports that no such law exists... https://www.wired.com/story/law-expert-chinese-government-cant-force-huawei-make-backdoors/

      2. Maelstorm Bronze badge

        Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

        Brexit is just awful policy, if you could sue governments for awful policy most countries would be bankrupt.

        But brexit isn't just policy, is it? I ask because I seem to remember a referendum vote of the people was held and the people voted to exit the EU.

        1. Yes Me Silver badge

          Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

          Yes, after being told lies by the Daily Mail and its rich masters for many years, they voted by a narrow margin to jump off the cliff. Whether or not there would be a parachute was unspecified. Now it turns out that the parachute available is no good. Jump, or not jump? A hard decision, apparently.

        2. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

          "I seem to remember a referendum vote of the people was held and the people voted to exit the EU."

          A majority voted for it - that makes it a popular policy, it doesn't make it good policy

      3. ST Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

        > If NSA etc have proof of pwnage or attempted such, they should demonstrate.

        NSA doesn't have to prove or demonstrate anything publicly.

        In fact, it would be completely stupid for them to do so - and they aren't stupid. At all.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

      "are any number of companies looking to sue the UK government for trashing their profits thanks to Brexit. Starting with the Japanese who have invested billions on the basis that the UK was in the EU."

      Luckily, companies cannot sue on the basis of democratic choices made by the electorate. At least, not yet.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

      are any number of companies looking to sue the UK government for trashing their profits thanks to Brexit.

      Unlikely, since EU investment in the UK has more than doubled since the referendum, according to S&P.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile watching carefully ....

        The problem is the actual exit, not merely the expression of an intent to do it. Which hasn't happened yet, so it's not really possible to say 'it didn't happen!'

  4. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

    That sub-heading

    Thanks very much El Reg for putting that song in my head on a Monday and ruining my productivity for the week!

  5. x 7

    whats this crap?

    "Like all companies in China, Huawei is subject to Chinese Communist Party control at the highest levels and must submit to compelled assistance laws on espionage, forcing firms and their workers to help spies and other state employees. [b] Most western nations have similar laws.[/b]"

    Just exactly which western countries have laws forcing their companies to commit or assist in espionage?

    Your comment is an unfounded anti-western piece of false rhethoric. Does the author live in China

    1. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

      Re: whats this crap?

      Did you forget the Joke/Sarcasm tags?

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: whats this crap?

      It's a long list, shall we start with the US of A?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: whats this crap?

      *Cough*...CISCO...*Cough*

      1. expreg

        Re: whats this crap?

        Can you provide evidence of this? I see this, but nobody has provided a link. Aside from that image of maybe-the-NSA maybe installing chips in maybe intercepted Cisco gear, is there solid evidence of Cisco, knowingly, installing backdoors in their equipment at the behest of the NSA/CIA? Or is it all speculation, just like Huawei and the CPC?

        I have no doubt either company has at some point conceded to the powers at be, but regardless.

        1. Yes Me Silver badge

          Re: whats this crap?

          ATT certainly did it for the NSA many years ago. I'm not sure whose kit they used, but you can buy fibre taps, DAG cards and such on the open market. No need to back door the switches.

    4. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: whats this crap?

      While many other countries have similar laws, China also has a policy of, well, asserting that the government is above the law. For example, it sees no problem with kidnapping foreign nationals to serve as pawns in diplomacy.

      1. JoshOvki

        Re: whats this crap?

        > For example, it sees no problem with kidnapping foreign nationals to serve as pawns in diplomacy.

        China or America are we talking about?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: whats this crap?

          Original: "For example, it sees no problem with kidnapping foreign nationals to serve as pawns in diplomacy."

          Reply: "China or America are we talking about?"

          China. Definitely China. The Huawei thing is a different story where there isn't a clear difference, but I don't remember anyone being kidnapped simply to show that a Western country isn't happy. The Canadians arrest a person for which there is an extradition request. They didn't immediately extradite them, they are putting that through their legal system and are also handling the legal complaint by said person through their local legal system. Meanwhile, China takes a Canadian hostage for no reason. They did not accuse that person of a crime, they did not charge them, they were not complying with a legal request of another country in international law. One country is performing their normal legal process, the other thinks that detaining people for no reason is a legitimate diplomatic tactic. Don't support that by pretending they're the same.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: whats this crap?

            Thank you. A lot of people here seem to say 'America is bad. China is bad. Therefore they are as bad as each other.' Guantanamo is a bad thing, an unhappy answer to the question 'what do you you do with dangerous people you pick up on a battlefield who aren't fighting for a particular country and therefore aren't prisoners of war?' Sticking a million Uighurs in prison for being Muslim is also bad.

            But, and let's be really clear here, the Uighur concentration camp is much, much worse than Guantanamo. And if you cannot see that, you need to really think. China hasn't kidnapped a single person. They've kidnapped two so far, and sentenced a third guy to death, in an extra hearing that wasn't even legal by China's own law. So that is murder then, not execution.

            So what we are saying is, if a country arrests an executive of China on receipt of a valid extradition request, and hasn't even extradited them yet, China can kidnap and threaten to murder a few of that country's nationals, and people on here will cheer them on.

            Look at yourselves in the mirror. Really.

    5. Alister Silver badge

      Re: whats this crap?

      Your comment is an unfounded anti-western piece of false rhethoric. Does the author live in China

      America fuck yeah!

      Dickhead.

    6. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: whats this crap?

      Try Australias's latest laws: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/24/tech_sector_australia/

  6. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    Book 'em Dano

    Huawei Five Oh'ed!

  7. Maelstorm Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    Kasperksy anyone?

    I seem to remember a similar lawsuit brought by Kaspersky. Wasn't that lawsuit dismissed? Here in America, you cannot sue someone for *NOT* buying or refusing to buy your product. So basically, the judge is going to tell them to pound sand.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kasperksy anyone?

      Pretending to work here (so can't look up details)

      Wasn't there some proposed trade agreement with the US that allows them to sue non-US countries if they don't get their way?

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