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Huawei founder denies China asked for help spying on clients

By Sheetal Sukhija, Europe News
18 Jan 2019, 03:15 GMT+10

SHANGHAI, China - A month after Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained in Canada, at the request of U.S. authorities - the founder of the Chinese telecoms company has shared his views about the current situation being faced by the firm.

Huawei, which is the worlds biggest producer of telecommunications equipment, has been facing intense scrutiny in the West over accusation of spying for the Chinese government.

Now, the founder of the company, Ren Zhengfei has spoken out, rejecting claims that his company is used by the Chinese government to spy on its clients.

Wanzhou's arrest has been sharply criticized by Beijing, which has accused Canada of abusing legal procedures.

Wanzhou, who is the daughter of the Huawei founder, was held by Canadian authorities last month at the request of U.S. authorities, who have alleged that she misled banks about Huawei's control of a firm operating in Iran.

In an interview with reporters in Shenzhen, the Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei claimed that he missed his daughter "very much."

Zhengfei said in his statement to reporters, which was quoted in a Financial Times report, that Huawei had never received any request from any government to provide improper information."

He reportedly added, "I still love my country, I support the Communist party, but I will never do anything to harm any country in the world."

The founder of the Chinese telecoms firm also dismissed fears over the security of Huaweis equipment and argued that no law in China requires any company to install mandatory backdoors (that could be used for spying)."

He added that the company had had "no serious security incidents."

Further, Zhengfei played down the risk Huawei faced from being blocked from the rollout of 5G telecoms networks by some countries.

He said, "Its always been the case, you cant work with everyone ... well shift our focus to better serve countries that welcome Huawei,'" and added that the company had 30 contracts globally to build 5G networks.

Wanzhou has denied allegations that she broke U.S. sanctions on Iran and of conspiring to defraud banks.

She has been ordered to stay in Canada and is under arrest after being accused of breaking sanctions on Iran.

She is now facing extradition to the U.S.

However, with relations between Beijing and Ottawa already reaching a low point over Wanzhou's arrests, other recent incidents have added to the tensions.

Earlier this week, China sentenced a Canadian to death for drug smuggling.

Meanwhile, Huawei is battling allegations made by the U.S. that its devices could be used by Beijing for spying.

While the U.S. and other allies have not provided any evidence publicly of the accusations, some countries have already banned Huawei products and other countries are mulling such a move.

Meanwhile, in his interview with international reporters, Zhengfei praised the U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Huawei founder said that Trump was "great" and praised his tax cuts as good for American industry.

Zhengfei said, "The message to the U.S. I want to communicate is: collaboration and shared success. In our world of high tech, its increasingly impossible for any single company or country to sustain or to support the worlds needs."

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