Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei. Photo: Getty

  • Huawei is planning to file a lawsuit against the US government for barring its federal agencies from using the Chinese firm's telecom equipment, The New York Times reports.
  • A source told The Times that Huawei would argue that part of a law from last year barring agencies from using Huawei telecom equipment was a "bill of attainder" - an unconstitutional piece of legislation.
  • The US has ramped up political pressure on Huawei in recent months, requesting the extradition of its CFO and lobbying allies to reject its 5G equipment.

In a new twist in the Huawei-US political saga, the Chinese phone giant is getting ready to sue the US government.

Citing two anonymous sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports that Huawei will file a lawsuit later this week in the Eastern District of Texas, where the company's US offices are based. Specifically, the company reportedly plans to sue the US for barring federal agencies from using Huawei tech.

The US has long voiced concerns that Huawei technology - along with its fellow Chinese telecom company ZTE - could pose a security risk, fearing that the company's technology could act as a backdoor for the Chinese government to spy.

Huawei denies the allegations and last week returned fire, criticizing a new, wide-reaching American law that allows the US government to demand data stored with Amazon, Microsoft, or other cloud providers.

According to The Times, Huawei's suit will focus on a section of a defence-spending-authorization law that was enacted last year, blocking federal agencies from using Huawei and ZTE telecom equipment.

One of the sources told The Times that Huawei was likely to argue the provision to be a "bill of attainder," a law that singles out a person or group of people as guilty of a crime and prescribes their punishment without trial. Bills of attainder are banned by the US Constitution.

This week has also seen a Huawei executive take legal action against Canada. CFO Meng Wanzhou on Sunday filed a lawsuit against Canada's government, border agency, and national police force, claiming that officials interrogated her "under the guise of a routine customs" examination. She is due in court Wednesday to set a date for extradition proceedings to start.

In recent months, the US has ramped up political pressure on Huawei, calling for Meng to be extradited from Canada after her arrest last year, accusing the firm of stealing US company trade secrets, and lobbying allied countries to reject its 5G wireless equipment.

Huawei declined to comment on the Times report when contacted by Business Insider.

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