Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei said the United States is at the risk of tarnishing its reputation by fighting against Chinese tech companies, CNN reported.
“If this U.S. administration always treats other countries, companies or individuals in a ferocious way, then no one would dare invest in the United States,” Ren said to CNN in a recent interview.
For a while now, the U.S. has been lobbying its allies to ban the Shenzhen-based telecommunications company from supplying equipment to future 5G networks. The U.S. alleges that Huawei can use the network for spying, but Huawei has stood its ground and says it would never spy on behalf of China.
More recently, the U.S. ambassador to Germany sent a letter to the German government indicating that the U.S. would limit the country’s access to U.S. intelligence if Huawei continued to help build out its 5G networks.
Ren said these types of tactics are what hurts the U.S. image with international investors. He urged U.S. President Donald Trump to think about how he’s handling the situation when talking to foreign countries and investors.
“His tactics are all wrong,” he said. “If he intimidates a country today, threatens a company tomorrow or wantonly arrests someone, then no one would dare invest in the United States.”
Ren did note that the U.S. economy helps grow innovation but that it was treating Huawei unfairly.
A week ago, Huawei decided to file a lawsuit to sue the U.S. government stating that it has “failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products.”
“We chose to have our voice heard at this moment because the U.S. government considers us a threat to national security,” Ren said. “They have to have evidence. Everybody in the world is talking about cybersecurity and they are singling out Huawei.”
“What about Ericson? What about Cisco? Don’t they have cybersecurity issues?…Why is Huawei being singled out?” he asked.
Huawei has sold millions of phones worldwide and there have yet to be any confirmed cases that its equipment has been used for spying purposes. In Canada, the company reported $428 million USD (about $566 million CAD) in sales revenue in 2018.
Ren noted that he wasn’t concerned with the U.S. trying to lobby its allies to ban his company.
“If they don’t buy from us, then we will sell to others,” he said. “We can downscale a little. We are not a public company, so we don’t have to worry about lower profits leading to collapsing stock prices. We can reduce our staffing and costs a bit, but we can still survive.”
To note, Huawei operates in 170 countries and has been in Canada since 2008.