A technology cold war between the United States and China wil have no winner as both sides will suffer, said Huawei Technologies founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei.
“The US has developed its technology for 100 to 200 years and has a solid foundation in creativity, while China is still catching up. The US is like the water in the upstream, which flows downstream,” Ren said in a panel discussion titled A Coffee With Ren in Shenzhen on Monday.
“Without the water from upstream, the downstream will dry up. Without the downstream, the upstream will also have problems,” Ren said, adding that the downstream, which refers to China, plays a crucial role in the world’s market economy.
“Society is marching toward competition…Huawei happens to be leading in 5G technology, but we will not be complacent. We want to openly communicate with the world,” Ren said.
He said if the United States and China decouple, no one will win.
On Monday afternoon, Huawei organized a panel discussion with George Gilder, an American venture capitalist, and Nicholas Negroponte, a co-founder of the MIT Media Lab. The discussion was moderated by an anchor from China Global Television Network, the English channel run by China’s CCTV. Huawei also invited foreign media to join the Q&A session.
The panel was part of Huawei’s media campaign to fight back against the US. On May 15, the US Commerce Department added Huawei to its Entity List on national security grounds. Huawei’s inclusion on the list has raised concerns about the future of the company, which may have to downsize its production because of a lack of chip supply and software support from US firms. On May 21, it granted Huawei a license to buy US goods until August 19.
Huawei has developed very good relationships with US companies over the past 30 years, Ren said. The recent setbacks for Huawei were not initiated by these US firms but by certain American politicians who have a different perspective on Huawei, he said.
Huawei never thought the US would be so strongly determined to suppress it, and the media coverage of this has been quite extensive, Ren said. It is not limited to the supply of components to Huawei but also affects the company’s cooperation with US universities and connections with American networks, he added.
However, such measures will not stop Huawei from improving, he said. It is true that Huawei saw a decline in smartphone shipment volumes overseas but the company is still recording growth domestically, he said.
Ren said Huawei’s equipment has no backdoor and the company is willing to sign no-backdoor agreements with all governments in order to show its commitment to addressing national security concerns in other countries.