The Chinese tech giant has said that it could look to reallocate funding from its US operations to markets in Europe, most likely the UK
Huawei’s founding father has said that the current onslaught of allegations against his company by the US will only serve to make it stronger and more competitive.
In an interview with the BBC, Ren Zhengfei described the US’ allegations over the security of his company’s mobile network equipment, and the arrest of his daughter, Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, as wholly unacceptable, "politically motivated acts".
“The world needs Huawei because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we could just scale things down a little bit,” Ren told the BBC via a translator. “Because the U.S. keeps targeting us and finding fault with us, it has forced us to improve our products and services.”
The US has been lobbying for some months, encouraging its European allies to ban Huawei from their 5G rollout plans. However, both Germany and Britain are showing signs of defying this advice, preferring to take their lead from a swathe of industry experts (including the CEOs of Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Turkcell), all of whom say that Huawei should be allowed to continue its involvement in Europe’s 5G rollout plans.
China remains Huawei’s single biggest market, where the company generates revenues of £35.1 billion. Europe and the Middle East represent the next largest business area, worth an estimated £18.9 billion to the Chinese tech giant. The US market is negligible in comparison, with Huawei generating revenues of £4.5 billion in the US. When asked about the impact of any potential bans in Europe, Zhengfei remained philosophical.
"If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine, and if the North goes dark then there is still the South. America doesn’t represent the world," he said.
Asked about Huawei’s relationship with the UK, Mr Zhengfei said that the US’ loss could be the UK’s gains, as Huawei would look to re-channel its US investments into more receptive markets.
"If the US doesn’t trust us, we will shift our investment from the US to the UK, on an even bigger scale," he said.
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