Huawei has mounted a legal challenge against the United States Federal Communications Commission after the it had designated the China-based tech giant as a security threat and moved to bar it from US government subsidy program.
Last month the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to designate Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and its peer ZTE Corp as national security risks, barring their US rural carrier customers from tapping an $8.5 billion government fund to purchase Huawei or ZTE telecommunications equipment.
In response Huawei has just announced that it has filed a petition with the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans challenging the decision.
The FCC argued the companies’ ties to China’s government and military apparatus, and Chinese laws requiring that such companies assist the Chinese government with intelligence activities, pose a U.S. national security risk.
The FCC also voted to propose requiring carriers remove and replace equipment from Huawei and ZTE in existing networks.
“Banning a company like Huawei, just because we started in China – this does not solve cyber security challenges,” Huawei’s Chief Legal Officer said at a news conference at the firm’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China.
He went on to state that the FCC has not provided evidence to show the company is a security threat to the United States and that “this decision, just like the entity list in May, is based on politics, not security.”
As things currently stand, it is not clear when the FCC decision will come into effect.
Federal Communications Commission spokesman Brian Hart has so far declined to comment. On Wednesday, the body’s chairman said he will propose $9 billion in funding over the next decade to boost 5G wireless telecoms coverage in rural areas of the United States.
President Trump placed Huawei on the country’s trade blacklist back in May, citing concerns over national security. This effectively banned businesses from supplying Huawei with US components without a special license.
The move came after the US brought criminal charges against Huawei, alleging theft of trade secrets, bank fraud and violation of US sanctions against Iran. It has also sought to convince its allies in NATO to ban it from the 5G networks over spying fears.