In an exclusive interview with the BBC News, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has claimed that the arrest of his daughter Meng Wanzhou, the company’s chief financial officer, is a political move by the U.S. to damage the company. “There’s no way the U.S. can crush us,” he said during his interview with BBC’s Karishma Vaswani.
Huawei and Ms. Meng are currently being pursued by the U.S. authorities for money laundering, bank fraud, and stealing trade secrets. Only last week, the U.S. Secretary of State issued a warning to the country’s allies against using Huawei’s technology, saying it would make it more difficult for Washington to “partner alongside them”.
While acknowledging that the potential loss of custom could have a significant impact, Mr. Ren dismissed the pressure from the U.S. and said, “The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit.”:
Under Chinese law, firms are compelled to “support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work”. But Mr. Ren said that allowing spying was a risk he wouldn’t take.
“The Chinese government has already clearly said that it won’t install any backdoors. And we won’t install backdoors either. We’re not going to risk the disgust of our country and of our customers all over the world, because of something like this.”
“Our company will never undertake any spying activities. If we have any such actions, then I’ll shut the company down.”
Mr. Ren’s daughter was arrested on December 1 in Vancouver at the request of the U.S. and is expected to be the subject of a formal extradition request.