In response to inquiries from CNBC, a representative from Huawei sent a statement attributed to board member Chen Lifang:
Huawei is very concerned about misunderstandings which continue to linger despite our best efforts in recent years to be more open, transparent and accountable. In the past year there have also been false allegations, fake news and rumors spread about Huawei.
Huawei is committed to being even more open and transparent for not only this year but the foreseeable future. We are a privately-owned company in the highly-competitive technology sector with significant R&D programs serving as strategic drivers of our business. For this reason, we have tended in the past to keep a low profile, perhaps lending credence to misperceptions we are too secretive. This is not true and we encourage those making such comments to compare Huawei with other leading technology companies in terms of access to our HQ, staff and senior executives.
We will continue heightening our efforts even though we are a privately-owned company. We will continue to let the facts speak for themselves but strive to better explain what we are doing to connect people and improve technology with our global approach at a time when international collaboration is being questioned. We have been transparent and open in recent years including publishing our annual report disclosing significant amounts of financial data comparable to publicly-listed companies, a sustainability report, extensive dialogue, engagement with stakeholders and frequent media activities.”
Some of governments’ mistrust of Huawei has been attributed to CEO Ren’s status as a former member of the People’s Liberation Army and a current member of China’s Communist Party. There have long been questions about the relationship between China’s ruling party and his company, but the tech billionaire emphasized to the assembled reporters that his personal political views would not compromise the protection of his customers.
“The values of a business entity is customer first, is customer centricity. We are a business organization so we must follow business rules. And in that context I don’t see close connection between my personal political belief and our business actions we are going to take as a business entity. And I think I already made myself very clear right now, we will definitely say no to such a request,” Ren said last week, when asked by CNBC about whether his ties to China’s authoritarian ruling party would stop him from fighting any kind of data request.
While Huawei has long been shut out of the American telecommunications networks, it has enjoyed a strong presence in many other nations. But lately, other countries are turning their back on Huawei and blocking the company from being involved in the next generation of networks known as 5G.