The logo of Huawei is seen in front of the local offices of Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, January 11 2019. Picture: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL
The logo of Huawei is seen in front of the local offices of Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, January 11 2019. Picture: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL

Barcelona — The chair of Huawei Technologies said US President Donald Trump’s assertion that the US should get ahead in mobile communications through competition rather than seeking to block technology is “clear and correct”.

Trump’s tweets on Thursday did not specifically mention the Chinese company, which is at the centre of a cybersecurity storm, but the comments could be viewed as toning down the US administration’s opposition to the network equipment supplier.

“I have noticed the president’s Twitter [message]. He said that the US needs faster and smarter 5G, or even 6G in the future, and he has realised that the US is lagging behind in this respect, and I think his message is clear and correct,” Guo Ping, speaking through an interpreter, said ahead of the mobile industry’s biggest global event, in Barcelona.

Guo said Huawei, the world’s biggest network equipment company, will be the focus of attention at the event, which officially begins on Monday.

Huawei is caught up in a clash between the US and China over network security for the next generation of mobile services, with Trump’s administration saying Huawei has enabled Chinese state espionage.

Trustworthy standards

Guo, who holds Huawei’s rotating chair, said the company has never and will never allow any country to insert “backdoors” into its equipment, repeating claims it has made many times before.

All stakeholders — equipment makers, network operators and governments — should work together to devise trustworthy standards to manage cybersecurity risks, he said. The issue should not be decided by politics, he said. “We need to have unified standard that should be verifiable.” 

Asked whether the Chinese state has a stake in Huawei, Guo said it is 100% owned by its past and present employees.

On the risk of Trump issuing an executive order banning Huawei from the US, he said: It “is not necessary and should not be released”. He added such a move would hurt Huawei’s small number of US customers.

“If such an executive order is to be released, what is the motivation behind it?” he asked. “Is it just to make the decision maker feel good? Such an executive order will harm some of the small telcos’ interests and it is unfair to them.  I hope the US will honour their spirit of ruling by law." 

The US, Guo said, does not represent the whole world and so Huawei could continue to succeed without the US.
Reuters