Huawei founder welcomes further scrutiny as it seeks to gain trust in the west

Huawei’s founder has described the UK’s scrutiny over its 5G equipment as vigorous and welcomed other countries to do the same level of examining in a bid to gain trust.

In an effort to ease tensions, Ren Zhengfei said he was willing to exclusively license Huawei’s 5G technology to a US company.

The tech giant has faced accusations of having close ties to the Chinese state, with some critics arguing that its telecoms equipment could be used to spy on people – which Huawei has long denied.

Mr Zhengfei admitted that the company cannot expect everyone to trust them but hopes it can change that over time.

“As time goes by I think that trust levels will increase,” he explained.

“For the past 30 years, there has been evidence to prove that we simply have no motivation to commit wrongdoing.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei (right) with China’s president Xi Jinping
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei (right) with China’s president Xi Jinping (Matthew Lloyd/PA)

“In the UK we have been subject to very vigorous scrutiny, more vigorous than other companies, it’s proved that we have no problems in our products and solutions.

“The UK has found some issues in our solutions, so it means that we’ve got some issues to sort out.”

Mr Zhengfei said Huawei does “not hold grudges” against other companies who have hesitated over using its 5G equipment and believes a lack of understanding and knowledge about 5G is to blame for many of the fears.

“There is so much controversy around 5G so it will take time for us to demonstrate that 5G and AI will bring huge value to people – people should give a little bit of trust to new things,” he told press in Shenzhen, China.

Huawei recently launched its first smartphone since it was effectively blacklisted by the US government in May, meaning that Google could no longer offer all of its software to the company, resulting in the Google Play app store being absent from the device.

The founder also looked beyond 5G, saying that Huawei has been working on 6G technology for a long time and is certain the firm will lead on it – although he warned that it was still very much in the early stages and a long way off.

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said in August that the fate of Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network could be decided by the end of the year.

The Science and Technology Select Committee said there are no technological grounds for banning Huawei in a report published in July but said some ethical concerns remain.

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