Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei confessed that his family uses iPhones and purchases Apple computers when travelling abroad.
Speaking to a group of Chinese reporters on May 21st at Huawei’s headquarter in Shenzhen, China, Ren expressed that Apple should be served as a role model for Huawei in the development their software ecosystem where every device is closely connected.
“Many of my family members have told me the advantage of the Apple ecosystem,” Ren said in Guancha, a Chinese publication. “Richard Yu [chair of Huawei’s consumer division] was very unhappy that I am promoted for another company.”
During the press conference with Chinese media, Ren stated that Huawei will always excuse itself from politics. He defended the U.S. companies that halted businesses with Huawei and expressed appreciation by Google and IBM’s assistance in the past few years.
“Let’s speak out more in favour of U.S. firms. If you are going to attack someone, then aim at the U.S. politicians,” Ren said.
“I’m pragmatic. One can’t be deemed patriotic simply for using Huawei products, or the other way round. Huawei is a commercial business. If you like [the product] then use it. Do not politicise it,” Ren said. He also noted that Huawei’s advertisement in China never contained anything that pictured Huawei as “national pride”.
The ongoing nationalist and anti-U.S. sentiment in China could play to Huawei’s favour and hurt Apple’s sales in the country. Chinese customers are calling everyone to “switch to Huawei” as a sign of support for China during the ongoing trade feud with the United States.
The order doesn’t specifically call out Huawei but it “invoke[s] the International Emergency Economic Powers Act,” a law that grants the president the authority to regulate any commerce that could pose a national security threat to the U.S. In this case, Huawei and the other companies added to the Entity List.
Correction 05/28/2019: ZTE is not part of the U.S. governments entity list. MobileSyrup has updated the above story to reflect this.