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19 May, 2019 09:17

Huawei has long been ready for US ban & won’t bow to pressure, CEO says

Huawei has long been ready for US ban & won’t bow to pressure, CEO says

US restrictions won’t hurt Chinese telecom giant Huawei much, as it has long been prepared for it, CEO Ren Zhengfei stated, adding that the firm has no intention of changing its activities on the US’ request.

“We have already been preparing for this,” the founder of Shenzhen-based Huawei Technologies said, as cited by Nikkei in his first speech since Washington severely hampered access for the firm to the US market over alleged security risks. Ren Zhengfei’s daughter, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, was arrested by Canadian authorities at the end of last year, resulting in a diplomatic row between China, Canada, and the US amid the already flaring trade tensions.

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He added that the tech firm will advance by developing its own chips to lessen the impact of the ban on its production and can stay afloat even if Qualcomm and other American producers refuse to sell chips to Huawei amid escalating tensions.

The statement comes shortly after Huawei’s chipset subsidiary, HiSilicon, said that it has a “backup plan” and is ready to switch to its independently-developed chips to mitigate the US’ measures. 

While the ban makes it much more difficult to do business with American companies, Huawei does not expect that it will have a significant effect on its long-term performance.

“It is expected that Huawei’s growth may slow, but only slightly,” the CEO said. Ren added that the company’s annual revenue growth may undershoot 20 percent.

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Last year, another Chinese firm, ZTE, suffered similar restrictions from the Trump administration when American firms were banned from selling parts and software to it, eventually leading to a crash in the company’s stock price. The measure was lifted after ZTE agreed to pay a $1.4 billion fine and change its board and executive team.

However, Huawei said it’s not going to follow their fellow telecom’s example and dance to Washington’s tune.

“We will not change our management at the request of the U.S. or accept monitoring, as ZTE has done,” Ren said. “Even if the US asks us to manufacture over there, we will not go.”

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