Huawei Pleads With The FTC For U.S. Telecom Ban Hearing

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Huawei pleaded with the Federal Trade Commission for a hearing over its de facto ban from participating in the stateside wireless market, according to a copy of its filing submitted with the Federal Communications Commission and published on Monday. The 65-page appeal was originally submitted on August 20 and once again reiterates Huawei’s defense against widespread accusations that it poses a national security threat to the United States. “Huawei and certain other foreign entities have faced, and continue to face, regulatory intervention that has inhibited their ability to compete on the merits,” the company claims, likely referring to ZTE.

The filing recaps a large part of Huawei’s long history of issues with American institutions, from the institutional pressure exerted on Sprint in 2010 meant to prevent the wireless carrier from considering Huawei as a supplier to the newly enacted U.S. defense bill that contains an anti-Huawei provision preventing federal agencies from relying on the company’s equipment. The Shenzhen-based company once again argued that preventing it from participating in the U.S. market, both as a telecom equipment supplier and an electronics manufacturer, hurts American consumers by reducing the number of options they have. The FTC has yet to respond to the hearing request and isn’t obligated to do so. The chances that any government organization side with Huawei on the matter are slim, especially given the current tensions between Washington and Beijing over trade.

Earlier this month, Huawei was also banned from participating in Australia’s 5G project and South Korea is understood to be preparing for a similar move. Legislators and regulators around the world are concerned Beijing would have little issues with forcing Huawei to help it spy on nations using its infrastructure or even cripple their communications. In response to those issues, Huawei repeatedly claimed it’s an employee-owned company that isn’t any more likely to be compelled to do anything by its government than Western firms are. China also criticized anti-Huawei measures in the West as unfair, with some critics previously calling for Beijing to invite the likes of Ericsson, Nokia, and other foreign firms into its wireless industry if fair competition is the only thing it’s concerned about.