For the first time since the arrest of Huawei’s CFO and daughter of owner Meng Wanzhou last December, the company’s founder has finally spoken up. For the first time since 2015, Meng’s father Ren Zhengfei has opened up to the media, denying that charges that Huawei assists Beijing with espionage.
Moreover, he called United States head of state Donald Trump ‘a great president.’
Ren spoke in a recent roundtable briefing with members of foreign media. The reclusive billionaire has only spoken with foreign press thrice before.
As Chinese tech giant Huawei faces its biggest fight since it was established in 1987, Ren told members of the foreign media that Huawei does not have regular contact with Beijing, and furthermore, does not assist in China’s spying endeavors.
He also told the press that he’ll wait to see if US President Trump will step in on behalf of Meng, who is under house arrest in Canada but faces extradition to America due to charges of aiding with the defrauding of financial institutions in order to avoid US sanctions on Iran.
Ren’s interview is a sign of the troubles that Huawei is facing. Huawei is one of China’s most important technology companies. However, the United States has been able to persuade Canada and other nations such as Japan, France, Germany, and Norway to no longer use some of the equipment that the company manufactures.
Ren said to the reporters, “I love my country, I support the Communist Party. But I will not do anything to harm the world. I don’t see a close connection between my personal political beliefs and the businesses of Huawei.”
Huawei’s founder also said that he would not divulge sensitive information from its clients should Beijing request for such.
He also expressed a willingness to participate with the Trump government and downplayed the part Huawei has played in the ongoing trade war between the US and China, calling Huawei “only a sesame seed” in the conflict between the two economic giants.
Moreover, he had praises for President Trump. “Trump is a great president. He dares to massively cut taxes, which will benefit business. But you have to treat well the companies and countries so that they are willing to invest in the U.S. and the government will be able to collect enough tax.”
Executives from Huawei have been speaking up in the media denying espionage allegations, asking accusers for proof of such. However, a Huawei sales executive was arrested in Poland last week on grounds of spying for China and was fired by the weekend. The ensuing media firestorm may have been the catalyst to the company’s owner to finally break his silence.
Ren spoke confidently about Huawei’s revenue projection for 2019 and downplayed the company’s removal from certain markets.
“Huawei is not a public company, we don’t need a beautiful earnings report. If they don’t want Huawei to be in some markets, we can scale down a bit. As long as we can survive and feed our employees, there’s a future for us.”