Huawei CEO, Ren Zhengfei, has said that he would oppose any trade ban imposed on Apple by the Chinese government in an interview in which he criticised the United States and President Donald Trump.
Two weeks ago, the US President signed an executive order which placed Huawei and 70 of its affiliates on a trade blacklist due to mounting concerns that its technology is a danger to national security.
Subsequently, tech giants such as Google – which provides the Android OS for Huawei smartphones – and ARM, provider of the chips used in these devices, also announced changes to their respective partnerships with Huawei.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the founder of the Chinese tech giant was asked if China should retaliate against US smartphone manufacturer, Apple, by enforcing a similar ban. However, Zhengfei emphasised that he would be the first to protest such a ban.
“Apple is the world’s leading company. If there was no Apple there would be no mobile internet. If there was no Apple to show us the world, you would not see the beauty of this world,” he said. “Apple is my teacher. It’s advancing in front of us. As a student, why should I oppose my teacher? I would never do that.”
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Although the US Government has temporarily lifted restrictions placed on Huawei, allowing the Chinese company to buy from American firms until 19 August on limited terms, Huawei has already felt the negative impact of the ban amongst its partners.
Zhengfei added: “The rest of the world decides whether they should work with us based on their own business interests and business positions. If some companies don’t want to work with us, it’s like a hole in the aeroplane. We’re working to fix the hole but the aeroplane is still able to fly. Of the chips we’ve been using, half are from the US and half we produce ourselves.
“If the US poses further restrictions on us, we will reduce our purchases from the US and produce our own chips. If American companies have permission from Washington to sell to us, we will continue to buy from them.”
Zhengfei directly addressed the US and President Trump by adding that if the US wishes to purchase Huawei products in the future, he may be reluctant to sell to them.
“We’ll ignore Trump, then who will he have to negotiate with? If he calls me I may not answer. But he doesn’t even have my number. I see his tweets and I think it’s laughable because they’re self-contradictory.
“We might miss our expected growth target, but we are still growing. Being able to grow in the toughest battle environment just shows how great we are.”