Huawei Closes Gear Seizure Lawsuit Against US After Equipment Return


Huawei's blacklisting in the US moved the company to file all sorts of lawsuits, including one regarding wrongful seizure against the US. The company has now dropped its gear seizure lawsuit against the US due to the return of its own equipment.

In 2017, Huawei attempted to send some telecommunications gear from its offices in the US to its Shenzhen headquarters in China. According to Mobile World Live, the telecommunications gear consisted of Ethernet switches, computer servers, and other telecom equipment. The US intercepted the telecommunications gear en route and held it for testing, telling Huawei that it needed to investigate whether or not the equipment mandated an export license first.

After seizing the equipment, the US held onto it for two years. Only in the midst of the Trump Ban did Huawei find itself willing to sue for wrongful equipment seizure.


Huawei claims that the US's decision to return the equipment is an implicit admission of wrongdoing.

Telecom Equipment Seizure Lawsuit: Huawei's firing back

Huawei's lawsuit was nothing more than an attempt to apply pressure against the US for the political and financial Ban the company is under in the US. Prior to the Ban, Huawei hadn't attempted to sue the US until this past June, some two years after the incident. What this reveals is that Huawei didn't care about the telecommunications gear so much as it cared about sending a message to the US Government.

From this alone, it appears as though Huawei only resorts to lawsuits when it wants to get its way or feels it is financially strapped somehow. If the company didn't think the telecom equipment seizure a big deal in 2017, why sue now? What would be the point behind a telecom seizure lawsuit? Perhaps the goal would've been to force the US to lose some cash as well in hopes that it could bargain with the US to be removed from the US Entity List.


The company said at one point that it wouldn't use its patent royalties as fuel in its political fight, but that's exactly what the company did when it contacted Big Red carrier Verizon Wireless about its $1 billion patent royalty fees due to 5G.

Telecom equipment seizure highlights suspicion around Huawei's closed-source software

Huawei's telecom equipment was seized most likely not only to investigate for an export license but also to survey it for hardware loopholes and vulnerabilities. The Government was checking to see if there was any evidence of espionage or potential backdoors with it, most likely, suspicious of Huawei already. Of course, it can be said that the government's seizure over the equipment was under false pretenses, but the suspicion surrounding the company's hardware and software has only grown with new knowledge that Huawei has been committing espionage in the African governments of Zambia and Uganda.

Of course, as a recent argument has stated, Huawei could decrease suspicion about its program if it would open-source its telecom gear. The company has already made its new HarmonyOS open-source to encourage adoption, but the company needs to do the same with its telecommunications equipment next.


Huawei is a major player in the 5G market, with its footprint in patents all over the world. Though the company continues to gain clientele, it can't afford for remaining clients to grow in suspicion that the company has something to hide with its closed-source telecom equipment.

Even in the UK, for example, where the Huawei Ban was turned down, UK officials are still suspicious of Huawei and don't want Huawei to have any connection to the core of its 5G network.

The US has had some mixed effort in warning countries not to do business with the major 5G player, but those suspicions would be removed if third parties were able to examine Huawei's telecom equipment up-close and see its potential harmlessness.