Huawei Sues US Government to Recover Equipment Seized in 2017

Huawei filed a lawsuit against the US government Friday over equipment the company claims should have been released more than a year ago but which the US hasn't returned to the company.
John Loeffler

Huawei filed a civil lawsuit against the US Government in US federal court last Friday, claiming that the US Commerce Department hasn't rightfully returned equipment that was seized in 2017 and which Huawei says is still sitting in Alaska.

Huawei Sues US Government Over Seized Equipment

Long before Huawei became a proxy for the latest trade dispute between the US and China, resulting in the company's blacklisting by the United States and effectively cutting off the company from much of the technology that it currently needs for its consumer electronics products, Huawei had a shipment of equipment from the US seized by the US Commerce Department in 2017.


The shipment, from an independent facility in the US testing the equipment and bound for China, was held up by the Commerce Department, which claimed at the time that the equipment needed to be inspected to verify that it wasn't subject to US export controls.

This isn't that uncommon with international shipments of possibly sensitive technology, so Huawei sent the Commerce Department the paperwork and documentation that is typically necessary to clear up any questions about the tech. Huawei says this process is usually resolved in about 45 days. Two years later, however, Huawei says its equipment still hasn't been released after the company provided the necessary documents.

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In its suit, Huawei is asking the court to compel the Commerce Department to make a final determination about the equipment's status and if it finds that it isn't subject to export controls, to release the equipment immediately. The suit isn't asking for any monetary damages.

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