Huawei won’t bow to US pressure: founder

Published May 20, 2019
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is ready to deal with Washington’s crackdown and will reduce its reliance on US components, its founder has told Japanese media. — AP/File
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is ready to deal with Washington’s crackdown and will reduce its reliance on US components, its founder has told Japanese media. — AP/File

BEIJING: Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is ready to deal with Washington’s crackdown and will reduce its reliance on US components, its founder has told Japanese media.

President Donald Trump effectively barred Huawei from the US market on Wednesday and added it to a list which would restrict US sales to the firm amid an escalating trade war with Beijing.

“We have already been preparing for this,” Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei told a group of Japanese journalists on Saturday in his first interview since Trump’s move.

Ren said Huawei would continue to develop its own components to reduce its dependence on outside suppliers.

Huawei is a rapidly expanding leader in 5G technology but remains dependent on foreign suppliers. It buys about $67 billion worth of components each year, including about $11 billion from US suppliers, according to The Nikkei business daily.

The usually elusive Ren, 74, has come out of the shadows in recent months in the face of increasing pressure on his company.

Huawei is the target of an intense campaign by Washington, which has been trying to persuade allies not to allow China a role in building next-generation 5G mobile networks.

“We have not done anything which violates the law,” Ren said, adding the US measures would have a limited impact. “It is expected that Huawei’s growth may slow, but only slightly,” he said, according The Nikkei.

A former army technician, Ren founded Huawei in 1987 with only $5,000, according to company lore. The company now claims to have nearly 190,000 employees, operates in 170 countries, and reported revenue of more than $100 billion last year.

Ren said his company would not yield to pressure from Washington. “We will not change our management at the request of the US or accept monitoring, as ZTE has done,” he said, referring to fellow Chinese telecoms giant ZTE which was also targeted by Washington.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2019

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