Huawei drops lawsuit against U.S. over seized equipment

Chinese telecom giant Huawei said Tuesday it has dropped one of its lawsuits against the U.S. government after authorities returned equipment they seized two years ago.

A Huawei showroom in Beijing, China, opens for business on May 20. File Photo by Stephen Shaver

The equipment was taken over questions about whether it required a specific license for it to be shipped back to China. The government said none was needed and had the hardware returned, the company said.

Huawei said the returned equipment included computer servers, Internet switches and other Chinese-made telecommunications gear. Huawei said it should’ve been returned after commercial testing and certification at a laboratory in California.

Company officials said it asked repeatedly for the U.S. government to make a decision, but ultimately filed suit in federal court in Washington, D.C.

“Arbitrary and unlawful government actions like this- detaining property without cause or explanation — should serve as a cautionary tale for all companies doing normal business in the United States, and should be subject to legal constraints,” Huawei chief legal officer Song Liuping said in a statement.

Huawei and the U.S. government, though, are at loggerheads on many other fronts. Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department added 46 more Huawei affiliates to its blacklist due to national security concerns.

The U.S. administration had already placed more than 100 Huawei affiliates and individuals on the list, making it more difficult for the company to do business with U.S. firms. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross granted more time for companies to find alternative suppliers to Huawei products.

ByClyde Hughes