Huawei Founder Ren Zhengfei on Tuesday held an international media roundtable at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen. He said that Huawei has never spied for China.
He said neither Huawei, nor him personally “have ever received any requests from any government to provide improper information”. Even if so, he added, as a business entity, the firm will “will certainly say no to any such request”.
Here is what Mr. Ren said about the major issues:
“First point I want to make is that over the past 30 years, our products have been used in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than 3 billion users in total. We have maintained a solid track record in security. Huawei is an independent business organization. When it comes to cyber security and privacy protection, we are committed to siding with our customers. We will never harm any nation or any individual. Secondly, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially clarified that no law in China requires any company to install backdoors. Neither Huawei, nor I personally, have ever received any requests from any government to provide improper information.”
“The case of Meng Wanzhou right now is in legal proceedings. So, we’d rather leave it to legal proceedings. I won’t provide much comment about it here.
As Meng Wanzhou’s father, I miss her very much. And I’m deeply grateful to the fairness of the Honorable Justice, William Ehrcke. I’m also much grateful to Prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley and Prosecutor Kerri Swift. I also thank the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women for its humane management. Thanks to Meng Wanzhou’s cellmates, for treating her kindly.”
I also appreciate the consular protection that the Chinese government has provided in safeguarding the rights and interests of Meng Wanzhou as a Chinese citizen. I trust that the legal systems of Canada and the United States are open, just, and fair, and will reach a just conclusion.”
“In terms of 5G, we have signed 30-plus commercial contracts today, and we have already shipped 25,000 5G base stations. We have 2,570 5G patents. I believe that, as long as we develop very compelling products, there will be customers who will buy them.
If your products are not good, no matter how strong you go for publicity, nobody will buy them. So what matters to Huawei more is working to streamline our internal management, improve our products, and improve our services. I think that’s what we should work on to address the challenges of this changing world.
There are only several companies in the world working on 5G infrastructure equipment, and not many companies are engaged in microwave technology. Huawei is the only company in the world that can integrate 5G base stations with the most advanced microwave technology. With that capability, our 5G base stations don’t even need fiber connections. Instead, they can use superfast microwave to support ultra-wide bandwidth backhauls. This is a compelling solution that makes a lot of economic sense. It works best for sparsely populated rural areas.”
“As I mentioned, right now our R&D investment averages 15–20 billion US dollars per year. That puts Huawei in the top 5 position across all industries in the world in terms of R&D intensity. In total, we have been granted 87,805 patents. In the United States, we have registered 11,152 core technology patents. We are actively involved in 360+ standards bodies, where we have made more than 54,000 proposals.”
On China-US trade dispute:
“I would say Huawei is not that important. We are like a small sesame seed, stuck in the middle of conflict between two great powers. What role can we play? The trade conflict between China and the US has not had a major impact on our business. We are expected to continue our growth in 2019.”
“We are the strongest in terms of telecommunications capabilities. I believe people will make their own comparison in the end between countries that choose Huawei and countries that don’t work with Huawei. Of course, there is no way we can control their choice.”
“So what matters to Huawei more is working to streamline our internal management, improve our products, and improve our services. I think that’s what we should work on to address the challenges of this changing world.”
“Some countries have decided not to buy equipment from Huawei. Therefore, we can shift our focus to better serve countries that welcome Huawei. We can build high-quality networks in those countries to prove that we are trustworthy. Therefore, it’s like a peaceful race from a technical point of view, and I think that’s fair.”
On Business outlook for 2019
“In 2019, we might face challenges and difficulties in the international market. That’s why I said earlier that our growth next year would be less than 20%.”