Huawei Ramps Up U.S. Legal Challenge, With the Media in Mind


In the news conference on Wednesday, Huawei also argued that growing limits on American purchases of Huawei equipment hurt American consumers. In a separate move, Mr. Trump earlier this month issued an executive order banning American telecommunications firms from installing foreign-made equipment that could pose a threat to national security. The order did not mention China or Huawei but still works as an effective ban on its products.

Mr. Song said the actions against Huawei took away the freedom of choice for American carriers and consumers, and it would disproportionately damage rural areas. While major American carriers do not use Huawei equipment, the low prices of Huawei technology has made it critical for smaller carriers seeking to connect more remote parts of America.

As the United States government took to the road to lobby allies across the world about the dangers of using Huawei products, Huawei has repeatedly turned to the American court system and press. In carefully managed and regularly scheduled interviews, Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, has argued that Huawei would refuse any efforts by Beijing to snoop on American communications or shut networks down and that its products are not a threat to United States national security.

Thus far, Huawei has little to show for its more aggressive use of the courts and the news media.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration blocked American companies from selling components and software to Huawei. The move cuts Huawei off from the critical American portion of the global electronics supply chain, which accounts for necessities like computer chips and software, and has the potential to inflict major damage on its business.

In an interview with Chinese reporters last week, Mr. Ren said the company had been stockpiling American components as a precaution against just such an eventuality. Still, in the longer term, industry analysts argue that it would be difficult for Huawei to maintain its current businesses while cut off from American technology.

Mr. Song said the American actions marked a troubling new pattern, demonstrating the United States government’s power and willingness to punish other countries and companies.

“This sets a dangerous precedent,” he said. “Today it’s telecoms and Huawei. Tomorrow it could be your industry, your company, your consumers.”

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