Huawei CEO 'would welcome' phone call from Biden, in first remarks since Trump left

Ren Zhengfei, Huawei CEO, said he would welcome a phone call from President Joe Biden in his first public statement since changing administration in Washington, D.C.

Ren hopes for a gentler approach to the Chinese telecommunications giant, which he founded after around two years of pressure from Washington. Huawei was identified as a national security threat under former President Donald Trump, whose administration took steps to restrict the company’s access to critical software and components.

Washington claimed Huawei’s network devices could be used to spy on Americans. Huawei has repeatedly denied these claims.

“I would welcome such phone calls, and the message is about common development and mutual success,” Ren said in Chinese comments translated by an official interpreter during a briefing with reporters. “The US wants economic growth and China also wants economic growth.”

The Huawei chief attempted to address the economic interests of American companies, saying some of them affected their businesses by being unable to supply the Chinese company.

“If Huawei’s manufacturing capacity can be expanded, it means more opportunities for US companies to deliver. I think that will be mutually beneficial. I believe the new administration would consider such business interests when deciding on its new policy, ”said Ren.

“We still hope we can buy high-volume American material components and equipment so we can all benefit from China’s growth.”

Ren spoke on the sidelines of an event where Huawei opened a new laboratory in the north Chinese city of Taiyuan, focused on bringing technology to the mining industry.

Huawei has been cut off from some technologies.

In 2019, Huawei was placed on a US entity list that prevented American companies from exporting technology to the company. Google is no longer allowed to license its Android mobile operating system to Huawei. This has caused the Chinese telecommunications giant’s global smartphone sales to decline.

The US has also decided to exclude Huawei from major chip shipments.

Ren was optimistic, saying that his confidence in Huawei’s viability “increased” over the past year.

It did so despite the difficulties in their smartphone business, as well as in some countries in the past 12 months, such as the UK, which kept Huawei from the 5G market.

“We have more resources to overcome difficulties,” said Ren.

Huawei also posted positive sales and net profit growth for 2020, the CEO said without disclosing any specific numbers.

Revenue for 2019 was 858.8 billion yuan ($ 122.97 billion) while net income was 62.7 billion yuan.

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