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Huawei ‘about to sue the US’ as CFO Meng sues Canada

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In a dramatic escalation of the fight between Huawei and the US, the Chinese vendor is about to sue the US government.

The New York Times and Reuters reported this morning that Huawei will start the action on Thursday in a court in Texas. Capacity’s sources confirm their reports.

Huawei is understood to be planning a significant announcement about the new action on Thursday at an international press conference in Shenzhen, the company’s headquarters in southern China.

At the same time over the weekend Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou started an action to sue the Canadian government over her arrest in Vancouver in December.

Meng, who is due to appear in court for an extradition hearing this week, is saying that Canadian authorities breached her rights.

A Huawei spokesperson told Capacity the action is against “members of the Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Government of Canada”.

They allege “serious breaches of her constitutional rights”. According to separate reports, officers at Vancouver airport “intentionally failed to advise her of the true reasons for her detention, her right to counsel, and her right to silence”.

China’s Foreign Ministry said: “It is a serious political incident. We again urge the US to rescind its request for the extradition of Ms Meng and call for Canada to release her immediately.”

The Huawei spokesperson said she is “seeking damages for misfeasance in public office and false imprisonment based on alleged multiple failures of those Canadian government officials to comply with the rule of law” when she was arrested on 1 December.

Meng was arrested at the request of the US, which is seeking her extradition to face charges alleging she committed fraud in an attempt to breach sanctions against Iran. The US is also alleging that Huawei stole intellectual property of T-Mobile US, the subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. She and Huawei deny all charges.

On Wednesday it is expected that Canada will announce a date for an extradition hearing, though the actual process could take years. Meng is on bail in Vancouver.

Huawei said this morning about the civil action started on Sunday: “As the claim speaks for itself and the matter is now before the courts, no further comments are appropriate at this time.”

But this morning’s reports of Huawei’s planned action escalate the dispute to another level. They say Huawei is challenging the US National Defense Authorization Act, which restricts the ability of US public sector organisations to buy Chinese telecoms kit.

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