- Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has called Donald Trump a “great president” as he bids to end America’s war with his company.
- In rare public comments, he praised Trump’s tax cuts and said he wants to foster an environment of “collaboration and shared success” with the US.
- Ren’s daughter, the Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada last month and faces extradition to America.
Huawei’s CEO Ren Zhengfei has made a rare foray into public life in an effort to calm the growing international hostilities towards his tech company.
In his first comments to journalists since 2015, per the South China Morning Post, Ren appealed to Donald Trump in particular, flattering the US president as his daughter Meng Wanzhou remains in Canada facing extradition to America. The Huawei CFO was arrested in Vancouver last month.
“Trump is a great president,” said Ren, according to a number of publications that attended a two-hour roundtable with the Huawei CEO at the firm’s newest offices in the industrial city of Dongguan.
According to the Morning Post, he added: “He dares to massively cut tax, which will benefit the business. But you have to treat well the companies and countries so that they will be willing to invest in the US and the government will be able to collect enough tax.”
This could be a reference to the fact that Huawei is effectively blacklisted in the US. The company’s phones are difficult and expensive to buy, the US government has banned public contractors from using its technology, and security services have consistently warned that Huawei poses a threat amid fears it is a channel for Chinese spies.
Ren said Huawei has had “no serious security incident” and there is “no law in China [that] requires any company to install mandatory backdoors,” according to the Financial Times. Nevertheless, it is thought Ren has close ties to China’s government after he served as an engineer for the military.
Ren wants to foster a spirit of collaboration with the US, he told journalists.
“The message to the US 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 also sought to downplay Huawei’s role as a potential pawn in the ongoing trade dispute between China and the US. “Huawei is only a sesame seed in the trade conflict between China and the US,” he added.
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