LONDON: BEIJING: The founder of Huawei commented on the arrest of his daughter, Meng Wanzhou, Huawei chief financial officer, noting that he believes that arrest was politically motivated.
In his first international broadcast interview since his daughter arrest, Ren accused the US of forcing other countries into the campaign against Huawei.
“There’s no way the US can crush us,” he told BBC “The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit.”
However, he acknowledged that there is still some impact on the size of the company, adding that Huawei can always “downsize and become smaller.”
“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 doesn’t represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world,” he added.
Ren also noted that Huawei will not withdraw any investment from the European countries even if there is a potential threat to be banned – for example from the UK, where the government review of the Huawei is planned for March-April this year.
“We will invest even more in the UK. Because if the US doesn’t trust us, then we will shift our investment from the US to the UK on an even bigger scale,” he added.
He also slammed the US for the arrest of his daughter on 1 December in Vancouver and 23 charges brought against her, including the charges of alleged attempted theft and trading the secrets.
“Firstly, I object to what the US 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 combative methods. We object to this. But now that we’ve gone down this path, we’ll let the courts settle it,” Ren said.
He also once more denied any connection between the company and the Chinese government, noting that spying is a risk he wouldn’t take.
“The Chinese government has already clearly said that it won’t install any backdoors. And we won’t install backdoors either. We’re not going to risk the disgust of our country and of our customers all over the world, because of something like this. Our company will never undertake any spying activities. If we have any such actions, then I’ll shut the company down,” he said.
The European Union is currently considering proposals that would amount to a de-facto ban on Huawei’s equipment for the 5G network. Earlier, EU commissioner for the digital single market Andrus Ansip urged EU states to exercise caution when dealing with Chinese tech companies, including Huawei.
Several countries, including the US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Taiwan have previously blocked Huawei from taking part in their 5G network development. China, by contrast, has accused the governments of fabricating stories about Huawei.