Huawei Drops US Commerce Department Lawsuit After Return Of Equipment

Huawei US Lawsuit
The Huawei logo is pictured at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin, Germany (Photo: Reuters / Hannibal Hanschke)

Huawei has dropped its lawsuit against the US Commerce Department after the agency finally returned the telecommunications equipment it had seized from the Chinese firm in September 2017.

The lawsuit by Huawei's US subsidiary, Huawei Technologies USA, was filed back in June as a direct protest to the alleged unlawful seizure.

In a statement released this week, Huawei stated that the return of the equipment was a clear indication that the initial seizure was "unlawful and arbitrary." Despite its protest, Huawei apparently decided that the return of its equipment, which included server components and Ethernet switches, was justice enough.  

The US Commerce Department confiscated the equipment in Alaska while it was on route to China from California. The equipment was originally sent to the US for testing and was on its way back to China.  According to the US agency during that time, the transportation of the equipment was illegal as the company had failed to show a valid export license.

According to Huawei, the US agency stated that its investigation has found that the shipment did not require an export license, which is why it had decided to return the items to the company. However, Huawei mentioned that the Commerce Department had failed to provide a valid reason for why it had held onto the equipment for close to two years.

Despite dropping its lawsuit against the US Commerce Department, Huawei is apparently still pursuing its separate lawsuit against the US government. The separate lawsuit, which was filed in March of this year, was in protest to the ban on the use of its equipment and services by federal agencies. Huawei claims that the ban was a clear violation of due process and was outright unconstitutional.

Following the escalation of the trade war between China and the United States, which eventually trickled down into the tech sector, Huawei had become a major target by the US government to strong-arm China into a trade deal. The US has alleged that Huawei was a clear national security threat as its equipment could be used by the Chinese government to spy on other countries. Huawei has repeatedly denied all of the US' allegations against it.

Huawei, along with other Chinese tech firms, had been included in the US' trade blacklist.

This essentially barred the companies from trading with their US suppliers, cutting off vital components and potential revenues. The US' has since eased its restrictions against Huawei by issuing licenses to select US companies. The licenses allow the companies to continue with their transactions with Huawei under close monitoring.   

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