Huawei: US move to blacklist firm sets a ‘dangerous precedent’

A hostess welcomes journalists and guests who attend the Huawei database and storage product launch during a press conference at the Huawei Beijing Executive Briefing Centre in Beijing on May 15, 2019.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

A move by the US to put Chinese telecoms giant Huawei on a trade blacklist “sets a dangerous precedent,” the firm’s top legal officer said.

Speaking at a press conference, Song Liuping said other companies and industries may be targeted next.

The US recently added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence.

The trade ban is one part of a multi-faceted confrontation between Washington and Huawei.

“Politicians in the US are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company,” Huawei’s chief legal officer Mr Song said.

He said such a move was unprecedented in history.

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

Mr Song was speaking to reporters in Shenzhen, outlining steps that Huawei had taken in relation to a lawsuit it filed against the US government in March.

The case relates to restrictions that prevent US federal agencies from using Huawei products.

The company said it has filed a motion for a “summary judgement”, asking US courts to speed up the process to “halt illegal action against the company”.

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

A hearing on the motion has been set for 19 September.

Security fears

In recent months, the US has led other countries in blocking the use of Huawei products over concerns that the Chinese government could use the firm to conduct surveillance.

The company has repeatedly denied claims it poses security risks, and says it is independent from the Chinese government.

Huawei has become a central part of a wider US-China conflict, which has primarily played out through a trade war.

US President Donald Trump has however sought to link the two, saying recently that Huawei could be part of a trade deal between the US and China.


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