Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is facing increasing pressure from Washington, which claims it poses a security threat to Western countries. Photo: Handout

Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei said in an exclusive interview with French media that the United States will fall behind when the fifth generation cellular network technology (5G) becomes mature for wide applications.

In the latest edition of Le Point on July 3, Ren answered 40 questions, ranging from his personal growth experience and views on Huawei being blacklisted by the US to security concerns over Huawei’s 5G communication equipment.

The founder insisted that telecommunication equipment sold by Huawei to customers consists of “naked” or “innocent” devices, meaning that the company could not intercept any user data since it has signed agreements with governments certifying that is has installed no back door. Besides, he said, the cellular network is in the hands of the operators – not Huawei.

After having been blacklisted by the US, Huawei – the current second largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world – seems unlikely to have its devices permitted to run on Google’s Android system any more.

Thus the company is focusing on its Plan B – Hongmeng OS,  the company’s first self-developed operating system. It has been working for more than seven years to create its own operating system which would be used in a unified fashion in phones and computers, cars and smart devices for the home.

Ren suggested that the Hongmeng OS might be “faster than iOS and Android.”

However, Hongmeng OS’s biggest shortcoming, compared with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, is that is not yet complemented by a rich mobile app ecosystem. That would take many years to build.

Nevertheless, Ren said, the wheel of history is rolling forward and no one can block it.

While it has been argued that 5G could just be a fancy term and its applications, apart from auto-piloting vehicles, and cannot make much money at this moment, Ren said the advancement of any product should be measured by its value, not its cost.

The United States would appear as a “backward” country in the future when the 5G technology matures, he added.

Read also: A look at Shenzen and Huawei’s ‘smart city’ project

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