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Huawei drops lawsuit against US government after its telecom equipment is returned

The US Commerce Department seized the equipment back in September 2017.


Huawei said it views the return of the equipment "as a tacit admission that the seizure itself was unlawful and arbitrary."

Angela Lang/CNET

Huawei on Tuesday dropped a lawsuit against the US Commerce Department and other agencies after the government returned telecom equipment it seized back in September 2017. The suit was filed in June, separately to the one the Chinese company brought against the US for the overall ban on its equipment.

The seized equipment included computer servers, Ethernet switches and other telecoms gear on its way back to China after testing in California, Huawei noted. Nearly two years later, Huawei filed its suit because the government hadn't decided on whether an export license was required.

"After a prolonged and unexplained seizure, Huawei has decided to drop the case after the US government returned the equipment, which Huawei views as a tacit admission that the seizure itself was unlawful and arbitrary," Huawei wrote in its a statement.

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The Commerce Department, which declined to comment, added Huawei to its blacklist following a May executive order from President Donald Trump that basically banned it from US communications networks. 

It required American companies to get a license to do business with the Chinese telecom giant, which is the subject of national security concerns due to its links to the Chinese government. Those companies will have to get licenses to sell to Huawei once its recently extended reprieve ends.

First published at 3:33 a.m. PT.
Updated at 7:10 a.m. PT: Adds that the Commerce Department declined to comment.