Huawei sues U.S. government over seized equipment

Huawei sues U.S. government over seized equipment

Chinese tech giant Huawei filed a civil lawsuit against the U.S. on Friday, saying the Commerce Department mishandled equipment from the company it had seized in 2017.

The complaint alleges the U.S. government took several pieces of equipment that were being shipped from an independent testing facility in the United States to China in an effort to figure out if the products were subject to export controls.

Huawei claims it gave authorities the necessary documents to resolve the issue and that such disputes are typically solved in 45 days. The company said it believes its technology is still being held in Alaska nearly two years later.

The tech behemoth is asking the court to order the Commerce Department to determine whether the products fall under the purview of export controls and to release the equipment if not. It is not seeking any financial damages.

The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The agency announced last month that it had added Huawei to its “Entity List,” which virtually bars the company from buying components from American companies without U.S. government approval. President Trump also signed an executive order declaring a “national emergency” that empowers the White House to bar foreign tech companies deemed security threats from doing business in the U.S.

Though the order did not name Huawei by name, it was suspected to be a chief target over concerns that it shares its data with the Chinese government in Beijing.

Huawei, the second biggest smartphone brand in the world, has denied it cooperates with the Communist Party. The company has said it could lose $30 billion over two years over the trade restrictions.

In retaliation to the administration’s blacklist, China announced last month it would establish an “unreliable entity list” of foreign companies and individuals that “seriously damage” Chinese enterprises.

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