Huawei Drops Lawsuit Against US Government
Huawei's US subsidiary dropped a lawsuit against the US Commerce Department and several other government agencies that it has filed back in June. The case was originally filed in response to telecommunications equipment that was seized without justification by US officials in September 2017.
After a prolonged and unexplained seizure, Huawei has decided to drop the case after the US government returned the equipment, which Huawei views as a tacit admission that the seizure itself was unlawful and arbitrary. This case was cited among a series of concerns the company recently enumerated with regard to inappropriate and unjustified actions against Huawei by the US government.
The equipment, which includes computer servers, Ethernet switches, and other telecommunications gear, should have been shipped back to China after commercial testing and certification at a laboratory in California in September 2017. The US Commerce Department, citing unidentified export violation concerns, seized the equipment while it was in transit. In the two years since, and despite multiple requests from Huawei, the US government failed to make a decision on whether an export license was required for the equipment to be shipped back to China, and continued to hold it.
Huawei had no alternative but to file a lawsuit on June 21 at the US District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging the US government's prolonged and unexplained failure to determine whether the equipment could be shipped to China without an export license. These actions by the US Government violated the Constitution and the Administrative Procedures Act, among others, the Chinese company said in a statement.
Song Liuping, Huawei's chief legal officer, said the company has landed a de facto victory despite its voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit, but is still disappointed by the fact that the US government has failed to provide any explanation for unlawfully withholding Huawei equipment for so long. "Arbitrary and unlawful government actions like this should serve as a cautionary tale for all companies doing normal business in the US, and should be subject to legal constraints," said Song.