Huawei’s listing on the US Department of Commerce Entity List was enough to prevent the Chinese company from buying anything from America, and recent court filings indicate that the basis for the listing might have been little more than a “we think they might” engage in spying.
The ban led to Huawei commencing proceedings in the United States federal court system, seeking a declaration that Huawei’s inclusion in the Entity List was unlawful and improper. While the ban might ultimately push Huawei to decrease (and ultimately end) its reliance on American products, there’s one thing it can’t really get away without for now, and that’s Android. Hence, the court action to (amongst other things) secure access to Android going forward.
Huawei’s lawsuit challenges the legislative implementation of the US’ Huawei ban, saying that it amounted to Congress passing a so-called “bill of attainder” against Huawei, even though such a bill is prohibited. Congress is not supposed to use its power to single out companies or individuals for punishment, so the law says, and thus the US move is unlawful.
The US Government has filed a response to the claim, which – the New York Times reports – amounts to little more than a “so what?”. Specifically, the Times reports that even the mere potential for Huawei to act as a proxy for China’s state security apparatus is reason enough for the US to ban the company’s phones and other technology.
How will this all end up? Well, it could go a couple of ways:
- The Trump Administration removes the Entity Listing for Huawei, and the problem – largely – just goes away
- The listing remains, and Huawei succeeds in its court action, which again largely solves the problem
- The listing remains and Huawei is unsuccessful, meaning it has to push forward with its own solutions
With news of a Huawei Developer Conference coming up next month, it seems as if Huawei’s hoping for the best but planning for the worst, forging ahead with development of its own mobile operating system.