Huawei founder says company would not share user secrets


Huawei Technologies has been in the wye of the storm recently.

Huawei Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei gestures as he attends a session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on 22 January 2015 in Davos.

Huawei has repeatedly denied such accusations, pointing out that it works with security agencies around the world and that it sells products to more than 500 operators in 170 countries without issue.

A former Chinese army engineer, Ren denied that Huawei passed the information along to the Chinese government.

The challenges facing the Chinese networking giant are both multiplying and escalating, with several nations expressing concern about the use of Huawei's equipment in their telecoms infrastructure.

"I love my country, I support the Communist Party".

In December, President Trump suggested he might intervene if it suited the US's national security interests or might help secure a trade deal.

"We will certainly say no to any such request", Ren said.

"Ren Zhengfei doesn't give many interviews, but his decision to speak publicly seems like a smart move", said Brock Silvers, Shanghai-based managing director of Kaiyuan Capital.

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Ren dismissed fears over the security of Huawei's equipment, saying "no law in China requires any company to install mandatory backdoors (that could be used for spying)" and added the company had had "no serious security incidents".

Ren survived Mao Zedong's great starvation that lasted from 1959 to 1963 to found Huawei with four investors in 1987 with $3,000 American dollars.

"I don't see a close connection between my personal political beliefs and the businesses of Huawei", he said.

Ren cited comments by Chinese government spokespeople who rejected suggestions, including by a vice president of the European Union, that Chinese 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. "He dares to massively cut taxes, which will benefit business", Ren said at the roundtable with reporters.

"Huawei is only a sesame seed in the trade conflict between China and the U.S.", Ren told reporters. "But you have to treat well the companies and countries so that they will be willing to invest in the United States and the government will be able to collect enough tax".

The company's image suffered a new blow last week when Polish authorities announced one of the company's Chinese employees had been arrested on spying charges.

According to the Wall Street Journal, he added: "I personally would never harm the interest of my customers and me and my company would not answer to such requests". "If they don't want Huawei to be in some markets, we can scale down a bit".

Ren said he became a Communist Party member in the early 1980s after the state press published reports about his development of a measuring tool for an engineering project. "As long as we can survive and feed our employees, there's a future for us", he said, according to Bloomberg.

Ren, who survived Mao Zedong's great starvation to found Huawei with four partners in 1987 with 21,000 yuan, said Huawei will continue to engage with governments so they can better understand his business.