Huawei: Billions of customers could be harmed by US sanctions

Huawei has said billions of customers around the world could be harmed by US sanctions against the company – as it launched a legal challenge against some of the restrictions.

The Chinese telecoms giant’s chief legal officer Song Liuping accused Washington of setting a “dangerous precedent” and said there was “no gun, no smoke, only speculation” behind the claim that it posed a security risk.

Huawei was earlier this month placed on a blacklist banning US companies from doing business with it, in a move which immediately prompted disruption to the tech sector.

Jeremy Thompson of Huawei
US has ‘called it wrong’ on ban says Huawei

The company is the largest global maker of network equipment but is now fighting to maintain access to major markets as it rolls out next-generation 5G technology.

Mr Song said the decision to place it on a blacklist “threatens to harm our customers in over 170 countries, including more than three billion customers who use Huawei products and services around the world”.

He was speaking as Huawei filed a US court motion against a separate restriction, passed by the US congress last summer, banning federal agencies and their contractors from using Huawei equipment on security grounds – citing its ties with the Chinese government.

Mr Song told reporters at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen that the “state-sanctioned campaign” against the company would not improve cyber security.

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He said: “Politicians in the US are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company. This is not normal.”

Accusing the US of setting a “dangerous precedent”, he added: “Today it’s telecoms and Huawei. Tomorrow it could be your industry, your company, your consumers.”

Google apps and services will not feature on future Huawei phones
Image: Google apps and services will not feature on future Huawei phones

America’s blacklisting of Huawei has a major impact because the company relies heavily on US components, including computer chips, and about a third of its suppliers are American.

The company has been given an initial 90-day reprieve from the ban.

But the sanctions have already affected its partnership with Google – which has said it would continue to support existing Huawei smartphones but that future devices will not carry its flagship apps and services including maps, Gmail and its search engine.

The restrictions come at a time when the US and China are embroiled in a bitter trade dispute, in which both sides have hiked tariffs on billions of pounds worth of goods.

Central to the dispute is US President Donald Trump’s claim that China steals technology from foreign companies and unfairly subsidises Chines businesses.

Source: SKY NEWS

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