Huawei's founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei (任正非) was joined by two American technological gurus, George Gilder, and Nicholas Negroponte on June 17 at Huawei's headquarter in Shenzhen China to discuss on topics regarding the U.S. government's ban on Huawei, future technological trends and more.
The panel named “Coffee with Ren” marks the first of a series of discussions held by Huawei to talk about important and controversial issues around Huawei. It was chaired by Tian Wei, host of China Global Television Network’s World Insight.
Regarding the intellectual property rights (IPR) issue Ren had to say this:
"The claim of Huawei's stealing of IPR from the west is not possible," Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said, "Huawei has been committed to business ethics and compliance with laws and regulations even when we were a small company at the very first beginning.
"Huawei didn't, and will never steal, intellectual property. We do have a lot of IPRs and will not use these IPRs as a weapon", Ren added.
Ren said he was surprised by the actions of the US actions, and that over the next two years Huawei will increase the use of its own chips and technologies. But he still wants Huawei to use US technology if possible. He emphasized that he doesn’t blame US companies for Huawei’s situation but US politicians. "We're not afraid to work with US components, we're not afraid to use US elements," he says. But he says other non-US companies might be more cautious about using US technologies in the future for fear of being cut off from suppliers.
Ren blamed the US decision to add Huawei to a list of companies that are banned from buying US-made technology, including the software and microchips the company uses to build its smartphones. The bans will cost Huawei around USD 30 billion in revenue this year and next, Ren said. He also confirmed a Bloomberg report that Huawei’s phone sales overseas fell 40% over the past month.
Nicholas Negroponte praised Huawei's efforts on scientific research, saying its efforts should be acknowledged.
Talking on the topic of scientific research Ren said "So many universities want to work with us," "we do not seek any achievements from the partnership with professors and scientists." He promised that "we will not give up what we have committed to."
Asked how censorship in China affects the open exchange of information between China and other countries, Negroponte said that "China must change" and allow companies like Google to offer services in the country. Ren did not answer the question.
US companies also are suffering because of the restrictions against selling to Huawei. According to Huawei, the company spent around USD 11 billion on US technologies last year. Chipmaker Broadcom expects the Huawei restrictions to reduce its revenue this year by USD 2 billion, the company said last week. According to Reuters, other chipmakers are in talks with the U.S government to loosen the restrictions. US companies don't have the sort of access to the Chinese market that they'd like. But losing access to Huawei means even fewer sales to the country.