Written and presented by Kiran Stacey. Filmed, produced and edited by Donell Newkirk
Several years into the US's fight with Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer is fighting back. This week, Huawei announced it is suing the US government over the government's ban on Huawei equipment being sold to its agencies or contractors. Washington says the equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. But Huawei says the ban is unconstitutional, as it singles it out for punishment without there having been a trial.
So could Huawei win? Precedent suggests not. Last year, a judge here dismissed a very similar case brought by the Russian company Kaspersky Lab, arguing that the US was justified in seeking to protect its own national interest. If that's the case, why is Huawei bringing this at all?
One explanation is that it is simply seeking to embarrass the US government. If this case gets beyond a motion to dismiss, it could demand all kinds of documents and even deposition from US officials. That could cause a major headache for the American intelligence services.
But if that is its strategy, it's not without risk. If the case does get that far, the American government will be able to demand the same of Huawei, including any sensitive information it might hold about its links with the Chinese government. I don't expect the case to get very far. But if it does, expect fireworks.