The rotating chairman of embattled telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. said the company is prepared to prove itself by producing industry-leading products in the face of backlash from western countries concerned about the security of Chinese-made equipment.
In a blog post titled, "Fire is the test of gold," Chairman Guo Ping pointed to the company's sales contracts and revenue as signs of its support, even as countries such as the U.S., New Zealand and Australia have moved to block the use of its 5G equipment.
"Huawei has never and will never present a security threat," Ping wrote. He pledged to make cybersecurity and privacy protection among the company's highest priorities for its hardware, software and services.
"If we can develop the simplest possible network architecture, make our transaction models as simple as possible, ensure the highest level of cyber security and privacy protection, produce the best products, and provide the best services, no market can keep us away," Ping said.
U.S. officials have urged domestic and foreign telecom executives and allied governments to stop using Huawei equipment, citing national security concerns and potential cyberattacks. In early December, Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada on U.S. charges for alleged violations of sanctions on Iran. Meng was freed on bail in Canada while she awaits hearings on her possible extradition to the U.S. to stand trial. Huawei and the Chinese government have protested the charges and treatment of Meng.
Huawei sits at the heart of a global tech and trade rivalry as telecoms companies prepare to deploy 5G networks. Western countries fear that its technology could be used by the Chinese government for espionage.
The company said it expects annual sales revenues to reach $108.5 billion in 2018, up 21% year over year. Ping said Huawei has agreed to more than 26 commercial 5G contracts with carriers and has shipped more than 10,000 5G base stations to markets globally, despite facing roadblocks in the U.S. and other countries. In 2019, the company plans to focus on strategic businesses and opportunities to "build a more resilient business structure," he said, noting that this would mean abandoning any products that have failed to attract a competitive market position.
"Setbacks will only make us more courageous, and incredibly unfair treatment will drive us to become the world's number one," Ping said in the pre-New Year's statement. He stressed that the company would ensure it follows all applicable laws in the countries where it operates, saying Huawei would use "the certainty of legal compliance to deal with the uncertainty of international politics."