Make no mistake: China's Huawei Technologies has no intention of shying away from its ongoing confrontation with the US. In addition to legal challenges against the US authorities with regards to various trading restrictions, Huawei has slapped major service provider Verizon with a demand for more than $1 billion in patent payments for a range of core, wireline and IoT technologies being used in its network, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Verizon is not a Huawei customer: The vendor believes that Verizon should pay license fees to use the hardware and software deployed in its commercial network that has been supplied by other vendors but which are based in part on Huawei patents. (The South China Morning Post has a thorough recap of the situation that isn't behind a paywall.)
Why this matters
Huawei was never going to sit on the ropes and soak up the punches being thrown at it by the US authorities. It has rallied its media machine to defend itself and pump pro-Huawei messaging into the market, put its lawyers to work and now, it seems, is going on the financial offensive.
This move will also freak out the rest of the US carrier fraternity because Verizon looks like the starting point, but any such demands would also be relevant to AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, CenturyLink et al.
Things could get out of control if a settlement between the US and China, and the US and Huawei, is not agreed very soon.
For more on this topic, see:
- Huawei: We're Not a Threat to Our Customers
- 5G Standards Group Struggles to Balance Tech With Politics
- Ericsson, Nokia Boast 5G Wins Against Each Other, but Fail to Stop Huawei
- China's Early 5G Move Doesn't Erase Huawei Doubts
- Huawei Asks Judge to Slap Down US Ban: 'No Gun, No Smoke. Only Speculation'
- Huawei Files Motion for Summary Judgment to Overturn US Ban
- Huawei vs. Trump & the Casualties of War
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading