Huawei Reportedly Mulling US Lawsuit as CFO Sues Canada

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Huawei is feeling litigious. Chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is suing the Canadian government for her arrest in December 2018, and reports claim Huawei itself plans to sue the U.S. government, ostensibly for banning federal agencies from buying its products.

There's a lot to unpack there. We'll start with Wanzhou. She was arrested by Canadian authorities at the U.S. government's request, accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of helping Huawei skirt economic sanctions on Iran. The hearing to determine if she'll be extradited to the U.S. is on March 6. In addition to being Huawei's chief financial officer, Wanzhou is Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei's daughter, which means the company's pretty invested in her case.

As reported by Bloomberg on Sunday, the CFO is now suing the Canadian government, police and border agency for alleged "false imprisonment." She claims she was interrogated "under the guise of a routine customs" search, Bloomberg wrote. It's not clear if the lawsuit will delay any decision to extradite Wanzhou to the U.S. or, potentially, force the Canadian government to release her. 

On to Huawei suing the U.S. government. Both The New York Times and Reuters reported today Huawei wants to challenge the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2018. The NDAA barred federal agencies from buying Huawei and ZTE products over concerns that the Chinese government could use them for espionage.

News of a potential lawsuit against the U.S. federal government follow rumors that U.S. President Donald Trump was planning to ban Huawei's technology from America's 5G wireless networks in February. Huawei's already been banned from 5G infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand. Germany and the European Union at large are said to be considering similar bans.

All of this has put Huawei on the defensive. The company warned employees that layoffs are probably imminent, and it's reportedly invited media outlets to its Shenzhen headquarters in an attempt to manage its reputation. We'll see if it decides to take the fight to the court room as well.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.