Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

Huawei founder says no huge impact expected from US ban

But China's biggest technology company is expecting a slowdown in growth

Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive of Shenzhen-based Huawei. AFP
Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive of Shenzhen-based Huawei. AFP

The founder of Huawei, China's biggest technology company, said that the US' actions are beyond its "control" and the recent blacklisting of the Chinese firm will not have a "huge impact" on manufacturing smartphones or 5G.

“I don't know exactly what [US] politicians are thinking. I think we should not be the target of US-led campaigns just because we are ahead,” said Ren Zhengfei, while interacting with media in Beijing on Thursday.

Last week, the Donald Trump administration added Huawei to an entity list, effectively banning American companies from doing business with the tech giant because it accuses Huawei of aiding Beijing in espionage.

However, on Monday, the White House backtracked on the immediate banning of Huawei, granting the company a three-month reprieve after US technology stocks tanked.

Mr Ren expressed gratitude toward the US companies it works with. “They have helped us to grow into what we are today,” he said, adding that companies must abide by the law and their relationships with Huawei will not be destroyed by a "piece of paper" from the US government.

Mr Ren said his company would continue developing its own chips - a piece of hardware critical to its smartphones that it largely relies on US firms to supply.

“Even if there is an insufficient supply from our [US] partners, we will face no problem. This is because we can manufacture all the high-end chips ourselves. Our mass production capacity is huge.”

Huawei shot to the centre of the US-China dispute last December, when its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained in Canada on a US warrant. In March, Huawei also filed suit against the US government in a Texas court, challenging the constitutionality of an American law that restricts the Chinese company from doing business in the country.

Huawei, whose revenues grew 39 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, is expecting a slowdown in growth towards the end of this year. However, Mr Ren said the US ban would not lead to negative growth.

With 5G, the next generation wireless network set to speed up internet connections and transform the way devices operate, Mr Ren said there "won't be much impact" to Huawei which is at the forefront of its development.

“We do not seek to solve our reputation issues outside of China through media campaigns. I think we will ultimately need to solve these issues by providing excellent services to our customers,” said Mr Ren.

Updated: May 24, 2019 12:56 AM

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