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Huawei Challenges FCC's Designation Of It As National Security Threat

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China's Huawei Technologies is seeking to overturn an order passed last month by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission or FCC that bars carriers in rural America from utilizing a government fund to purchase Huawei equipment.

The FCC order bars communications companies in the U.S. from utilizing the agency's $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund or USF to buy equipment or services from Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE Corp., as they pose national security risks. Huawei is the world's largest telecom equipment maker.

Huawei's petition was filed on Wednesday in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The petition asks the court to hold the FCC's order unlawful as "it fails to offer Huawei required due process protections by labeling it a national security threat."

Huawei Chief Legal Officer Dr. Song Liuping said that the FCC chairman Ajit Pai and other FCC commissioners failed to present any evidence to prove their claim that Huawei constitutes a security threat.

Glen Nager, Huawei's lead counsel for the legal action, said that the FCC's decision exceeds the agency's "statutory authority" as it is not authorized to make national security judgments or restrict the use of USF funds based on such judgments.

Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE are major players in the 5G market as they manufacture and sell telecom equipment for 5G networks at competitive prices. The U.S. has serious concerns about the security risks posed by Chinese technology companies, including Huawei and ZTE.

The U.S. intelligence agencies are concerned that the Chinese companies may be beholden to the Chinese government or the ruling Communist Party, raising the risk of espionage.

The U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei to its "Entity List", which banned the Chinese company from buying components and technology from American firms without prior approval from the U.S. government.

The Trump administration also blacklisted Huawei in May on national security grounds, with the ban primarily aimed at keeping equipment made by the Chinese company out of the 5G network in the U.S.

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