The founder of the Chinese technology giant Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, has said in an interview with Bloomberg that he would be “the first to protest” if Beijing retaliates against the US-based tech giant Apple.
A Bloomberg reporter has asked the Huawei CEO in an interview whether he would retaliate against Apple amid “calls by some in China” to take countermeasures against the US company.
“That will not happen, first of all. And second of all, if that happens, I’ll be the first to protest. Apple is the world’s leading company. If there was no Apple, there would be no mobile internet. If there was no Apple to help show us the world, we would not see the beauty of this world. Apple is my teacher. It’s advancing in front of us. As a student, why should I oppose my teacher? I would never do that”, Ren Zhengfei has told Bloomberg in an interview, published on Sunday.
Huawei has been accused by several countries of being sponsored by the Chinese state and spying on its behalf through its devices.
Visitors walk past Huawei’s booth during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2017
© REUTERS / Eric Gaillard
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US President Donald Trump issued an executive order earlier in May that added Huawei and its 70 affiliates to a trade blacklist, thereby restricting its activity in the country. US companies are hence required to receive permission before trading with the telecom company.
As a result, Google had to suspend business operations with Huawei, including the transfer of all hardware, software and technical services, except those publicly available via open source licensing. This move has already impacted the telecom giant, with several mobile carriers, such as UK Vodafone and EE suspending their launches of new Huawei products.
The standoff between Huawei and Apple was sparked by the December arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder in Canada, for alleged violations of US sanctions on Iran. Beijing decried the move and demanded that Canada immediately release the Chinese national.
In January, the Chinese telecom giant punished staffers who used an iPhone to send an official company tweet amid a standoff between the two tech giants. In an internal memo, published online by Chinese media, Huawei said those responsible were demoted and had their salaries slashed by $730.
|Apple Warned of Troubles in China Amid US Crackdown on Huawei|
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed on Thursday that the Chinese tech giant allegedly had close links to not only the Chinese government but also to the Chinese Communist Party. He said that these ties significantly threatened any US-related information that passed via Huawei’s devices. Pompeo also said the State Department expected more companies worldwide to cut ties with Huawei in the future.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday that Pompeo’s remarks were made in an attempt to stir up ideological resistance against the company.
Last year, the United States, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand banned the company from participating in government contracts due to security concerns. Huawei has vehemently denied all allegations of spying.
Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.
Ren also responded to critics who claim that Huawei got to where it is currently through intellectual property (IP) theft and government support.
“The US has not developed that technology so from where should I steal it?” he asked.
“We are leading the US. If we were behind, Trump would not need to make so many efforts to attack us.”
As the number of companies supplying Huawei with components and software falls, Ren added that Huawei would use its own products instead.
“The US manages its own companies. The US is not the international police – they can’t manage the whole world. The rest of the world decides whether they should work with us based on their own business interests and positions,” he said.
“If the US imposes further restrictions on us, we will reduce our purchases from the US and use more of our own chips. If American companies have permission from Washington to sell to us, we will continue to buy from them.”
Last week, Trump also, for the first time,linked a dispute over Huawei, which he views as a threat to American security, with a deal to resolve the US-China trade war.
“Huawei is something that is very dangerous,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, a military standpoint. Very dangerous.”
Ren told Bloomberg that there was no need for negotiation over the issue.
“The US has never bought products from us. Even if the US wants to buy our products in the future, I may not sell to them. There is no need for negotiation.”
It seems the world is spiraling into turbulence. All countries need to act prudently. They need to make as many friends as they can and avoid becoming tools of other countries. They should also cast aside illusions of using geopolitical methods to realize
development goals that can’t be achieved economically.
As Huawei is pinned in the eye of the China-US trade war, French President Emmanuel Macron claimed Europe won’t capitulate to US pressure to block the Chinese tech company. What is Europe’s attitude toward US demands? What impact has the trade conflict caused for Europe?