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  • Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) at the offices of Huawei Technologies with Ren Zhengfei, president of company. London, Britain Oct. 21, 2015.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) at the offices of Huawei Technologies with Ren Zhengfei, president of company. London, Britain Oct. 21, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 January 2019

In exclusive interview, Huawei founder, Ren Zhengfei, denies that the Chinese government asked the company to spy, and 'would never do anything to harm any country in the world.'  

Technology company Huawei's founder Ren Zhengfei is denying any claims that the Chinese government is using his company to spy. The father of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, said he misses his daughter who has been held by Canadian authorities on request from the United States for allegedly misleading banks about the company's operating a firm in Iran.

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"I still love my country, I support the Communist party, but I will never do anything to harm any country in the world," Ren said, adding he missed his daughter "very much."

The Huawei founder, Ren, a former military officer who founded the multinational company in 1987, assured reporters during an interview in Shenzhen that he "never received any request from any government to provide improper information." Ren owns 1.14 percent of the company's shares.

The Huawei company told Reuters the same.

According to Reuters, since last April U.S. authorities have been investigating Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker, since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of the U.S.’s longtime economic and export sanctions against the Persian country.

Meng has been paying the price since Dec. 1 when she was arrested by Canadian authorities. She was released on bail on Dec. 11 but still faces possible extradition to the U.S. inflaming China-U.S. trade tensions anew.

China's foreign ministry said Tuesday that the arrest is an abuse of legal procedures. On Monday, China sentenced a Canadian to death for drug smuggling.

Huawei, the world's biggest producer of telecommunications equipment, has been facing intense scrutiny in the West over its relationship with China's government and over U.S. allegations that its devices could be used by Beijing for spying.

No evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has repeatedly denied the accusations, but some Western countries have restricted Huawei's access to their markets.

Poland said this week it could consider banning the use of Huawei products by public bodies, after it too arrested a Chinese Huawei official.

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 has had "no serious security incidents".

The company is the world’s second biggest smartphone maker and generates US$93 billion in revenue last year.

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"You can't work with everyone  ... we'll shift our focus to better serve countries that welcome Huawei'” Ren told interviewers, adding the company already has 30 contracts globally to build 5G networks which are being rolled out.

U.S. President Donald Trump in August signed a bill that barred the U.S. government from using Huawei equipment and is considering an executive order that would also ban U.S. companies from doing so.

However, Trump told Reuters last month he would intervene with the Justice Department in the case against Meng if it would help secure a trade deal with Beijing.

Ren described Trump as "great" and praised his tax cuts as good for American industry.

"The message to the U.S. I want to communicate is: collaboration and shared success. In our world of high tech, it's increasingly impossible for any single company or country to sustain or to support the world's needs," Ren added.

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