“There is no way the US can crush us,” said Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei, in an interview with BBC. He also said that the arrest of the company’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, his daughter, was politically motivated. This is the first time Mr. Ren took part in an international broadcast interview since Ms. Meng was arrested.
He dismissed the pressure from the US and said, “The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit.”
Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the country’s allies about using Huawei’s technology and said that it would be difficult for Washington to “partner alongside them” if otherwise. The US isn’t the only one to ban or block Huawei from supplying equipment for 5G. Australia and New Zealand had blocked Huawei long before the US deemed the company to be a threat to national security.
Mr. Ren lightening the situation said, "If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. And if the North goes dark, there is still the South. America doesn't represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world." For instance, many mobile companies in the UK, including Vodafone, EE, and Three, borrows Huawei’s technology to develop their 5G networks. Any risk posed by the Chinese company and its technology can be managed, said the UK’s National Cybersecurity Centre. However, the aforementioned mobile operators are still awaiting the government’s approval in using Huawei’s technology.
Mr. Ren denies the possibility of a UK-ban saying that it “won't withdraw our investment… We will continue to invest in the UK. We still trust in the UK, and we hope that the UK will trust us even more.” “We will invest even more in the UK. [If] the US doesn't trust us, then we will shift our investment from the US to the UK on an even bigger scale,” he added.
Huawei has been under scrutiny for its links to the Chinese government which is feared to spying on foreign countries using Huawei’s technology. Mr. Ren said that, in China, firms are compelled to "support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work". But, “the Chinese government has already clearly said that it won't install any backdoors. And we won't install backdoors either.”
Mr. Ren said that Huawei is not ready to “risk the disgust of our country and of our customers all over the world, because of something like this. Our company will never undertake any spying activities. If we have any such actions, then I'll shut the company down.”
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