It's the reason why U.S. consumers couldn't walk into their carrier's local store and pick up one of the best phones of 2018. It's the reason why the U.S. is telling allies not to use networking equipment from Huawei for their 5G networks. And it is why the company is considered a national security threat. What we are talking about is the persistent rumor that Huawei products contain a back door that secretly picks up confidential information from consumers and corporations, and sends this data to China for the government to peruse.
The Financial Times (via Reuters) reports that on Tuesday, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei denied that the company spies on behalf of the Chinese government. The paper quotes Ren as saying that Huawei has never been asked to provide improper information to any government. He added that there are no laws in China that would require Huawei to install back doors on its phones or networking equipment.
The executive said that the company will shift its focus to countries where Huawei is welcomed. This confirms an earlier report that Huawei has given up trying to clear its name in the U.S. The executive stated that Huawei has 30 contracts to build 5G networks in various countries.
Ren founded Huawei in 1987, and still owns 1.14% of the company's shares. He says that he misses his daughter, Meng Wanzhou, who is currently being held in Canada and faces extradition to the U.S. Meng, Huawei's CFO, allegedly committed bank fraud so that Huawei could do business with Iran and Syria. Those two countries are currently under U.S. sanctions.
Huawei is the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and is the largest provider of networking equipment in the world.