November 19, 2019
Telecommunications

Despite U.S. Attack, Huawei Continues Deep Dive into Sea of Innovation

(SDN) — UNDER siege from the United States, China’s Huawei Technologies is undaunted and is still determined as ever as it promises to continue deep-diving into innovation.

That much is clear, as Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, the world No. 1 telecommunications equipment manufacturer, revealed his plans for the company, including more investments.

He said Huawei will not stop it because of the (American government) attack against Huawei. “We will not give up. We will continue to work hard along that line.”

“In the next five years we are going to invest 100 billion U.S. dollars to reshape the network architecture so that the network can be simpler, faster and more secure, more trustworthy,” Zhengfei, a  former engineer and officer of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) assured.

“At the very least we should be able to meet the standards of the GDPR of Europe.”

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, the European Union’s (EU) “regulation in EU law for data protection and privacy of all individual citizens and the European Economic Area (EEA)…(and) addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.”

On Monday, June 17, Zhengfei engaged in a discussion with two prominent American thinkers hosted by China Global Television Network (CGTN), an international media owned by China Central Television (CCTV).

He exchanged ideas with U.S. technology gurus George Gilder and Nicholas Negroponte in Shenzhen, where Huawei’s headquarters is located in the People’s Republic of China (PROC).

Huawei Coffee with Ren Zhengfei

From left are: Tian Wei of CGTN, George Gilder and Nicholas Negroponte (American tech gurus and prominent thinkers), Huawei Founder/CEO Ren Zhengfei, and Catherine Chen, Huawei senior vice president and member of the Board, in Shenzhen. (Photo source: Huawei/CGTN). Gilder is a futurist, author and venture capitalist. Negroponte is a tech visionary, the co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lab.

The host of CGTN’s “World Insight,” Tian Wei, asked him what he thought about “trust,” obviously a reference to the allegations by the American government that Huawei’s telecoms equipment such as routers, switches and others have built-in “backdoors” that could be used by China to spy on American communications.

Huawei has repeatedly and vehemently denied the allegations, emphasizing it is a private company and is not working for the Chinese government.

He said, based on a transcript of the discussion, that his company has already proved itself trustworthy, pointing to transactions among banks like bank transfer as example, which has to be very precise. One zero lose would present a big problem, he added.

“Networks have to deliver. Huawei helps connectivity for around three billion people around the world. Over the last 30 years, doing business in more than 170 countries, we prove that our networks are secure, our networks have not broken down,” he said.

“If we have some financial challenges right now (from) what is going on, we will not reduce our investments. We will maintain our level of spending in R&D. We will re-invent our self to contribute to human society,” the Huawei founder said.

He cited his company’s engagement in Africa, saying Huawei’s people are everywhere. “We are there because of the vision we have because of our commitment toward humanity…contribute more in serving humanity.” Zhengfei indicated that his company’s presence in the African continent is not about money.

The Huawei CEO also noted the importance of a person-to-person interaction, citing as example the visits of some U.S. politicians who have come to Shenzhen.

He said in “taking a look by themselves…if they come here and see the innovation, they will see that we should be their friends; we should be trusted.”

Zhengfei said Huawei is determined to ensure the security of its network equipment and “that determination is included in our business plans.”

He said Huawei is working with over 300 universities and 900 research institutions (across the world). “We provide our support to them.”

While some  U.S. universities do not work with the company, he acknowledged, there are others who are working with Huawei, and there are other many non-American universities working with the company.

“Others not working with us is understandable…because they don’t know us enough,” he said.

Zhengfei said Huawei is willing to sign a “no backdoor agreement with governments that are) willing to sign one.”

Here’s some of what Negroponte said, also from a transcript of the discussion:

“…Our President (Donald Trump) already said publicly that he would reconsider Huawei if we can make a trade deal. So, clearly it is not about national security.

“We don’t trade our national security. So, its about something else and this trade war has got to end that I believe will come sooner than later. (I am) crossing my fingers.” (SDN)

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