Huawei founder cool on US ban reversal - Mobile World Live

Huawei founder cool on US ban reversal

03 JUL 2019

Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei (pictured) was surprisingly less than enthusiastic about an apparent u-turn by US President Donald Trump regarding the supply of equipment to the Chinese vendor, as it prepares to reduce its dependence on US technologies.

Financial Times (FT) quoted Ren as saying: “President Trump’s statements are good for American companies. Huawei is also willing to continue to buy products from American companies. But we don’t see much impact on what we are currently doing. We will still focus on doing our own job right.”

Prior to Trump’s announcement, Ren told FT the US ban had been a unifying force for Huawei and the company was “very confident” it could find alternative sources of equipment in China and beyond.

Ren has been bullish throughout the recent tribulations: in May he said the company would survive the US ban because it had already prepared for the eventuality.

And while he later revealed the restrictions would take $30 billion off its top-line over the next two years, he expressed confidence in a return to revenue growth from 2020 onwards: “We will do a lot of switching over and will take time to ramp up, but after that we will be stronger.”

Domestic spat
Trump will meet senior US security officials this week to discuss easing pressure on Huawei.

The President faced fierce criticism after apparently backtracking on the block on US companies providing components and software to Huawei. Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, defended Trump, noting Huawei had not been freed entirely from the restrictions.

Some US companies have explored ways to circumvent the ban. While it covers direct exports to Huawei, the rules do not prohibit shipments of components and equipment made in other countries provided they do not feature more than 25 per cent of US-originated material.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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