While discussing AI at the World Economic Forum this week, Huawei’s Ren Zhengfei commented on the ‘attacks’ made on his company by the US.
Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei has said the US is “over-concerned” about the Chinese company and its rise in the world of technology.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum on the subject of artificial intelligence, Zhengfei said the US blacklisting of the company occurred because the US was not comfortable with Huawei challenging the country technologically.
Last year, the US imposed trade restrictions on the company over concerns about the company’s security and ties to the Chinese government, with allegations its telecoms equipment could be used to spy on people – something Huawei has repeatedly denied.
An escalating campaign against Huawei
Zhengfei said: “The US is over-concerned. The US has got used to being the world number one and thinking they should be the best in everything that they do. If there is someone who is better than them they might not feel comfortable.
“I think the US should not be over-concerned about Huawei and Huawei’s position in the world.”
The Chinese firm’s chief exec added that he was confident that the company could survive any further “attacks” from the US, following the Trump administration’s decision to add the business to the ‘entity list’, which limits the amount of trade it can do with American companies.
“Regarding the entity list, Huawei was added to the list last year and it did not hurt us much. We basically withstood the challenges – we did some preparation before that,” he said.
“This year the US might further escalate their campaign against Huawei but I feel the impact on Huawei’s business would not be very significant.”
Meanwhile, the UK government is under pressure from the US to block Huawei from being a part of the rollout of 5G networks in the UK. A government decision on the tech giant’s role in 5G infrastructure in the UK is reportedly expected in the coming weeks.
Huawei has been taking steps to overcome some of the limitations related to the US trade restrictions, particularly after being cut off from key licensed Google apps. Just this week, the company announced that it has entered a new partnership with TomTom to potentially create an alternative to Google Maps.
As well as developing a ‘plan B’ operating system that could be used as an alternative to Google’s Android, the company announced that it will be offering financial incentives and support to app developers in a bid to encourage them to create apps for the Huawei App Gallery.
The company is also releasing 24 open developer kits to make the process easier for app developers who are interested in this opportunity.
– PA Media, with additional reporting by Kelly Earley