Huawei founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei told the Financial Times that if the Chinese government asks its company to unlock its devices, it will follow Apple’s example and refuse to do so. The executive defines Apple as its role model when it comes to protecting the privacy of its users.
Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple will never convert its customers into the product. Also, in 2016, Apple challenged a court injunction requiring Apple to unlock an iPhone 5c owned by the San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. The company feared that if it created a special version of iOS that would allow the FBI to unlock Farook’s iPhone, the software could be in the wrong hands, threatening all iPhone user’s privacy.
Ren also points out that the data is owned by Huawei’s customers and states that it is up to the operators to track users, not the companies that produce phones. But Huawei’s current position in the US entity list of the commerce department prohibits it obtaining parts and software from the US. Despite the contrary comments made by President Donald Trump, it has nothing to do with privacy in the US. They worry that, in accordance with the laws of communist China, the government could direct Huawei to spy on its customers. And this has led to rumors that Huawei products contain secondary ports that will serve as a channel for sending information to Beijing. Huawei has repeatedly denied this and the company president, Liang Hua, has offered to sign a no-spy document with any country.
Ren Says, the U.S. Micromanages Its Tech Firms
“We will never do such a thing (sell customer data). If I had done it even once, the US would have evidence to spread around the world. Then the 170 countries and regions in which we currently operate would stop buying our products, and our company would collapse. After that, who would pay the debts we owe? Our employees are all very competent, so they would resign and start their own companies, leaving me alone to pay off our debts. I would rather die.” – Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO, Huawei
The executive says the Trump administration is wrong about its concerns and notes that the Chinese government runs private companies like Huawei by keeping laws and taxes in mind. Ren also claims that China does not intervene in Huawei’s commercial operations. He says. “I don’t know why the US government micromanages its tech companies as much as they do, they act like a mother-in-law, and if they get too involved, their daughters-in-law might run off.”
Due to the ban, Huawei should see a huge $30 billion drop this year. The company will still be in the black, estimating profits of around $8 billion by 2019. However, the manufacturer has admitted that it will not surpass Samsung to become the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world next year. Last year, 206 million phones were shipped, the third behind Samsung and Apple, and 59 million units delivered in the first quarter came second behind Samsung. But the company said it will send between 40% and 60% fewer phones outside China this year, which aims at total deliveries of smartphones from 140 to 160 million units by 2019.
Last week, presidents of the US and China, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, respectively, agreed on a truce that temporarily paralyzes the trade war between the two countries. Trump said the Chinese agreed to buy “huge” quantities of agricultural products from the US. He also revealed that “US companies can sell their equipment for Huawei. We are talking about computers where there is a serious national security problem.” However, it was discovered last week in an email sent by John Sonderman, Deputy Director, at the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Department of Commerce, Huawei continues on the entity list and has yet to be considered “on the blacklist”. So far, no US company has announced a plan to resume the sale of supplies for the besieged Chinese manufacturer.
- US Companies Find A Way To Avoid Huawei Ban, The Trump Administration Is Divided On What To Do
- Despite the Boycott, One U.S. Chip Maker has Continued Shipping A Few Components to Huawei
- Huawei Ban: US Chipmakers Said to Be Quietly Lobbying to Ease Restrictions
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