Huawei CEO breaks silence on daughter's arrest with praise for Trump

Huawei poster on a column outside an office building

Asked whether Huawei would challenge such an order in court, Ren chuckled and said it would be up to Chinese authorities to "file litigation". Huawei is one of China's most important technology companies.

Asked about President Donald Trump's suggestion on Twitter that he might intervene in Meng's case if that facilitated a resolution of Washington's tariff battle with Beijing, Ren said he would wait to see whether Trump takes action. Meng is accused of violating USA sanctions by doing business with Iran and her detention has set off a tit-for-tat of arrests between Canada and China.

The emergence of the reclusive Ren, who last spoke with foreign media in 2015, underscores the depth of the attacks on Huawei, the largest symbol of China's growing technological might. Accused of helping defraud banks, Meng's plight helped crystallise fears the company aids Beijing in espionage against governments. In the particular, Huawei networking equipment and smartphones are essentially non-existent.

During a roundtable interview, which was just the third time he's spoken to foreign reporters, Ren said: "I love my country, I support the Communist Party".

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has said his company would rather shut down than damage the interests of customers for its own gain.

"I don't see a close connection between my personal political beliefs and our commercial decisions", he said.

Ren said he would decline any request from Beijing for sensitive information on its clients and stressed the potential for cooperation with the USA and Trump's administration.

Ren cited comments by Chinese government spokespeople who rejected suggestions, including by a vice president of the European Union, that Huawei and other vendors might be required to install secret "backdoors" to facilitate eavesdropping under a law enacted previous year that requires them to cooperate with intelligence agencies. "Trump is a great president". He dares to massively cut taxes, which will benefit business. And last week, a director of sales for Huawei was arrested in Poland for allegedly spying on behalf of China.

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But this month Poland arrested a Huawei employee suspected of spying for China.

"Huawei is only a sesame seed in the trade conflict between China and the U.S.", Ren told reporters.

Amid heightened tensions and controversies that are stretching across the globe, Ren said he was confident the company's revenue would grow to $125 billion this year.

"If they don't want Huawei to be in some markets, we can scale down a bit. As long as we can feed our employees, I believe there will always be a future for Huawei".

Huawei says it is employee-owned.

Regardless, this hasn't stopped major countries - including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and more - from issuing full or partial bans on using Huawei equipment. Prior to founding Huawei in the 1980s, he served as an engineer in the Chinese military and attended the 1982 National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

"We need to decide the extent to which we are going to be comfortable with Chinese ownership of these technologies and these platforms in an environment where some of our allies have taken a very definite position", MI6 chief Alex Younger has said.


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