Huawei founder speaks amid pressure: 'The U.S. can't crush us'

Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei says the company may downsize to weather the intense scrutiny by the US

Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei says the company may downsize to weather the intense scrutiny by the US

When I asked him whether the US's pressure on its allies would succeed in keeping Huawei out of Western markets because it said Huawei was a tool of the Chinese government - he told me that Huawei has lots of options.

On Monday, Ren said in a separate interview with the BBC that the technology company would not undertake any spying activities and that it could shift its business investments to other countries amid an ongoing US pressure campaign.

Ren Zhengfei, CEO and founder of the Shenzhen, China-based company, made those comments in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp.in the wake of the arrest of his daughter, Meng Wanzhou, by Canadian authorities at the request of the USA government.

"If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine".

"America doesn't represent the world."
"America only represents a portion of the world", he added.

Ren, in his conversation with the BBC, promised to focus more on developing markets outside the US and other Western countries who push back against partnering with Huawei.

But Ren, 74, also denounced as "politically motivated" the December arrest of his daughter, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and faces an extradition hearing in Canada next month.

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The attack was claimed by Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and has sparked calls in India for a firm response. Saudi Arabia now supplies about 20 percent of India's crude oil and wants to definitively push aside arch-rival Iran as a source.

"The US like to sanction others whenever there's an issue, they'll use such methods - we object to this."
We object to this. When it comes to his daughter's criminal case, Ren simply said, "we'll let the courts settle it".

The second was that Huawei is headquartered in China and has historically had close ties with the Chinese government, the United States government officials then brought up the concern over national security, with networks using Huawei equipment.

However, it was also reported earlier on Monday, February 18, that the United Kingdom would not support the total ban on Huawei's equipment, even after the U.S. has expressed its espionage concerns and the company's ties to Beijing.

The US is pursuing criminal charges against Huawei and Ms Meng, including money laundering, bank fraud and stealing trade secrets. He told the BBC: "There's no way the United States can crush us".

"The Chinese government has already clearly said that it won't install any back doors. And we won't install backdoors either", he said.

Huawei has endured a torrid time in the USA, ranging from the arrest of its CFO to a seemingly imminent decision to ban Chinese telecom equipment. Ren has denied accusations Huawei helps spy for Beijing, saying he would never hurt his customers. "If we have any such actions, then I'll shut down the company". In recent days, for example, British intelligence officials seemed to break from their U.S. counterparts, offering that they suspect they'll be able to manage any cybersecurity concerns while using Huawei products like its 5G equipment.

Huawei is the world's largest manufacturer of telecom equipment, making it an important player at a time when nations around the world are building out lightning-fast 5G networks that are expected to revolutionise global communications.

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