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We've never shared customer data with the Chinese government, says HUAWEI

HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei also said it's not possible for its products to have backdoors for the Chinese government.

Published onFebruary 19, 2019

From the arrest of its chief financial officer and a possible network equipment ban to the Justice Department’s 13-count indictment, Huawei hasn’t had a great time with the U.S. as of late. That said, HUAWEI founder CEO Ren Zhengfei reiterated his company’s innocence in an interview with CBS News.

When asked if his company ever shared data with China, Ren said, “For the past 30 years, we have never done that, and the next 30 years to come, we will never do that.” The concern stems from Ren’s former life in the People’s Liberation Army as a military technologist, though he didn’t hold military rank.

There’s also concern that the Chinese government attained backdoor access in HUAWEI’s technology, something that Ren said is not possible.

“Across our entire organization, we’ve stressed once and again that we will never do that. If we did that, with America’s advanced technology, they would have found that already.”

The comments come as HUAWEI is seemingly making the press rounds to improve its image. In a separate interview with BBC, Ren said his company would and will not install backdoors. Ren also said he would shut HUAWEI down if the company was engaged in espionage.

The U.S. is calling on its allies to drop support for HUAWEI’s network equipment amidst security concerns. New Zealand and Australia already banned HUAWEI’s 5G network equipment, with Japan mulling over a similar ban.

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