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Thursday, Jul 18, 2019

Round up: Huawei’s stance on US ban, possible action in Europe, and more

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfie said the company will not end up with an extreme supply shortage if the US goes ahead with cutting off the supply chain.

tech Updated: May 27, 2019 10:35 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Huawei faces decimated smartphone sales with the anticipated loss of Google's popular software and services.
Huawei faces decimated smartphone sales with the anticipated loss of Google's popular software and services. (AP)

Huawei is caught in the crossfire of the US-China trade war. Despite receiving a 90-day breather from the US government, list of technology firms cutting ties with Huawei is increasing. The Chinese telecom conglomerate, however, is hopeful about turning things around in the near future.

Ren Zhengfie, Founder CEO, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, said that the company is well prepared for the worst – the US cutting off the supply chain. He added that Huawei is in touch with its US partners and intends to continue the partnership in the future.

Here are excerpts from Zhengfie’s interaction with the international media over last few days.

CCTV: The US issued a temporary license to Huawei. In other words, its restrictions on Huawei can be lifted in the following 90 days. What’s your view on this license? What could you do in these 90 days? If the news is true and the US cancelled the imposed restrictions after 90 days, how would you comment on such a reversal?

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the US companies that we work with. Over these 30 years, they have helped us to grow into what we are today. They have made many contributions to us. We also have been receiving support from a large number of US component and part manufacturers over all these years. In the face of the recent crisis, I can feel these companies’ sense of justice and sympathy towards us.

The US has added Huawei to the Entity List. That is to say if a US company wants to sell something to Huawei, it needs to obtain approval from the US government. The US is a country ruled by law. US companies must abide by the laws, and so must the real economy. So let’s should not always blame US companies. The blame should rest with some US politicians. We should understand that these US companies and Huawei share the same fate. We are both players in the market economy.

Factfile on China's Huawei, including revenues, core business areas, patent applications and smartphone market share. ( AFP )

People’s Daily: I want to ask a question about chips. I noticed that you said in an interview with Japanese media on May 18 that “Huawei does not need chips from the US. There is no problem with Huawei.” In a letter to your employees, you mentioned that Huawei has strengths and has made preparations. Can I ask where your strengths come from and what you have done to prepare?

We are always in need of US chips. Our US partners are fulfilling their responsibilities and asking for approval from Washington. If this approval is granted, we will still buy chips from these suppliers. We may even sell chips to US companies (to help the US make more advanced products). We won’t exclude our US partners or seek to grow entirely on our own. Instead, we will grow together.

ALSO READ: Huawei customers worry: Will my phone work without Google?

Xinhua News Agency: Do you think the international market has been disrupted?

I don’t think so. Europe will not follow in the footsteps of the US, and the majority of US companies are communicating closely with us.

The Paper: Other Huawei executives have stated that Huawei is able to continue serving customers. Will the US ban affect your major customers and business? How will you respond?

Our growth will slow down, though not by as much as everyone imagines. In the first quarter of this year, our revenue grew 39% over the same period last year. This rate decreased to 25% in April, and may continue decreasing towards the end of this year. But the US ban will not lead to negative growth or harm the development of our industry.

Graphic on companies that are stepping back from dealings with the Chinese telecoms giant. - ( AFP )

Science and Technology Daily: If the US cuts off the supply chain, how will the industry be impacted? Two days ago, I saw that Fang Zhouzi (an Internet celebrity) tweeted “If the spare tire is good, why not use it before a blowout?” What’s your opinion on it?

If we use spare tires in all our products, that means we are seeking the so-called “independent innovation”. The main purpose of independent innovation is to become a dominant player. But we want to have partners all over the world. For that reason, his idea of using the spare tire before a blowout is not on our minds. He doesn’t understand our strategic thinking. We don’t want to hurt our partners. We want to help them have robust financial statements, even if it means we have to make adjustments

Science and Technology Daily: How will the industry be impacted if the US does cut off the supply chain?

Our company will not end up with an extreme supply shortage. We have got well prepared. At the beginning of this year, I predicted that something like this would occur two years later, and that the US would not take action before the US lawsuit against us was settled in court. We were quite sure that they would take action against us whatever the result was. We thought we would have two years to make preparations. But when Meng Wanzhou was arrested, it sparked everything off. For a period the US has been attacking Huawei, and also urging its European allies to put pressure on or even block Huawei. If the US continues to push its European allies to close their markets to Huawei, will you visit 10 Downing Street or the Élysée Palace in person to persuade them to open their doors to Huawei through more direct and effective methods?

I used to have afternoon tea at 10 Downing Street. They asked me how I learned to catch up with the rest of the world, and I said it was the afternoon tea. Therefore, they received me with afternoon tea at Downing Street.

First Published: May 24, 2019 17:56 IST

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