Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei said the U.S. would not be able to “crush” the company even if it tries to persuade other nations to ban the tech giant.
“There’s no way the U.S. can crush us,” Ren said in an interview with the BBC on February 18th. “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.”
Ren’s company has been under the microscope for a while now after Vancouver authorities arrested his daughter and global CFO Meng Wanzhou in December. She faces extradition to the U.S. after the country laid 13 charges of bank and wire fraud against Meng, Huawei and its subsidiary Skycom. In total there are 23 charges.
The U.S. banned the company out of cybersecurity concerns in August, and New Zealand and Australia shortly followed.
Canada is currently conducting two reviews, one on Huawei and another on 5G in Canada. No ban has taken effect yet, but if Huawei does get banned it could cost the carriers, notably Bell and Telus $1 billion CAD.
Ren reiterated his opposition to the U.S. accusations.
“Firstly, I object to what the U.S. has done. This kind of politically motivated act is not acceptable.
“The U.S. likes to sanction others, whenever there’s an issue, they’ll use such combative methods. We object to this. But now that we’ve gone down this path, we’ll let the courts settle it,” he said.
For a while now, the U.S. has been urging its allies to ban the company, but Ren said that “the world cannot leave us behind because we are more advanced.”
“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,” Ren said.
Over the weekend the U.K. said it would be able to mitigate the potential national security threat Huawei presents to the country’s upcoming 5G networks without banning the use of the company’s networking equipment.
The U.K. is still waiting for a report to be released in March or April that could decide whether or not the country will use Huawei.
Ren said that Huawei “will still [have] trust in the U.K., and we hope that the U.K. will trust us even more.”
“We will invest even more in the U.K. Because if the U.S. doesn’t trust us, then we will shift our investment from the U.S. to the U.K. on an even bigger scale.”
Part of the concern that most countries are having is that according to a draft of China’s national intelligence law that was released in 2017, Chinese companies have to comply with the country’s government and provide any national intelligence work.
Ren reiterated that he would never jeopardize his company by spying.
“The Chinese government has already clearly said it won’t install any backdoors. And we won’t install backdoors either. We’re not going to risk the disgust of our country and of our customers all over the world, because of something like this,” he said.
“Our company will never undertake any spying activities. If we have any such actions, then I’ll shut down the company.”