In a rare media interview with the BBC, Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei, made strong statements about the future of the Chinese telecommunications giant as well as the arrest of his daughter, which he called a “politically motivated act” by the United States.
First, Ren insisted that Huawei remains strong, saying “There’s no way the US can crush us. The world needs Huawei because we are more advanced.
Even if they persuade countries not to use us temporarily, we could just scale things down a bit.”
Huawei’s founder insists that the adversity the company has faced has forced it to be better than ever.
“And because the US keeps targeting us and finding fault with us, it has forced us to improve our products and services.”
The BBC interviewer then asked Ren, “What kind of impact would it have on your business if the US is successful in getting many of its partners in the west to shut your equipment out?”
Huawei’s owner answered philosophically, “If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. And if the North goes dark, there is still the south. America does not represent the world.”
Regarding the company’s plans and future in the United Kingdom, Ren said, “We will continue to invest in the UK. We still trust in the UK, and we hope that the UK will trust us even more.”
He reiterated his plans to invest in the UK and said the company would scale up if necessary. “If the US doesn’t trust us, then we will shift our investment from the US to the UK on an even bigger scale.”
The BBC interviewer went on to ask Ren about his daughter, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, how he felt about her arrest and how he would feel if she was sent to jail.
The Chinese businessman answered, “I object to what the U.S. has done. This kind of politically motivated act is not acceptable. The US likes to sanction others whenever there’s an issue. They’ll use such methods. We object to this.”
However, he assured the interviewer that Meng’s arrest had no impact on the company. “There’s no impact on Huawei’s business due to Meng Wanzhou’s loss of freedom. In fact, we’re growing even faster.”
Ren wondered aloud if the US authorities had caught the wrong person. “So they caught Meng Wanzhou. Maybe they caught the wrong person. They may have thought that if they arrested her, Huawei would fall. But we didn’t fall. We are still moving forward. Our company has established processes and procedures and no longer relies on any one person.
Even if I myself go one day, this company won’t change its trajectory forward.”
Ren’s daughter Meng was arrested in Canada on December 1, 2018, upon request from the United States. She has been charged with bank and wire fraud violating American sanctions against Iran.
The United States Department of Justice has denied Ren’s claims that Meng’s arrest was politically motivated.
Nicole Navas, a spokesperson for the Department told Reuters in an email that “The Justice Department’s criminal case against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is based solely on the evidence and the law.
The Department pursues cases free of any political interference and follows the evidence and rule of law in pursuing criminal charges.
The United States has accused Huawei, as well as another Chinese network equipment company, ZTE Corp, of working with Beijing for the purpose of obtaining information about America. These are claims that Huawei in turn, refutes.
Ren has said repeatedly that Huawei would “never undertake” any spying activities.
The United States has called on other countries not to use Huawei’s technology, due to concerns over state-sponsored espionage.
This has the potential to affect Huawei’s bottom line in a big way, which is probably why the reclusive Ren has become more visible in the media.
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 US has expressed its espionage concerns and the company’s ties to Beijing.