Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Huawei lost a round in court Tuesday, with a federal judge ruling that Congress was within its rights to exclude agencies and contractors from buying gear from Huawei and ZTE.

The big picture: This is one battle in the larger and more multifaceted conflict between Washington and Beijing that's playing out in courts, through trade negotiations and in public rhetoric.

Context: As part of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress put limits on how government agencies and contractors could do business with certain companies, using language that specifically targeted Huawei and ZTE.

  • Huawei sued over the move last year, arguing the law was unconstitutional.
  • The judge ruled that Congress was acting within its rights to decide how the government spends its money.

What's next: Huawei says it will consider further legal options. Meanwhile the fight continues on many levels, with the U.S. enacting several policies designed to limit Huawei's ability to do business in the U.S. and weighing further actions.

  • Most recently, per the Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration has been weighing whether to require those using U.S.-made chip gear to certify their products won't be used for Huawei products.

Meanwhile: In a series of Tuesday tweets, President Trump threw his administration's Huawei policy into confusion.

  • He suggested that his own team's efforts to block U.S. sales to Chinese companies like Huawei were driven by a "National Security excuse," and said, "We don't want to make it impossible to do business with us."
  • Trump's comments will make it even harder for U.S. officials trying to persuade allies to bar Huawei equipment from their 5G networks.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump has turned Big Tech's speech rules into a political football

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter made headlines Tuesday after labeling two election-related tweets from President Trump as potentially misleading — the company’s first action against the president’s tweets, which often test its policies on misinformation and abuse.

The big picture: Twitter's unprecedented move, which swiftly drew Trump's fury, was just one of four controversies over the last 24 hours involving tech platforms grappling with free speech issues. And all of them, Axios' Sara Fischer and I report, reflect what a partisan issue the policing of social media content has become.

May 28, 2020 - World

Pelosi: "All freedom-loving people" must condemn China's Hong Kong law

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement Thursday condemning the Chinese government's new national security law for Hong Kong and calling on Congress to work with the Trump administration to determine an appropriate response, which could include "visa limitations and economic penalties."

Why it matters: China's encroachment on Hong Kong's independent legal system, which effectively marks the end of the "one country, two systems" framework, has prompted rare bipartisan backlash in Washington at a time when tensions with Beijing are running high.

Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.