Huawei hits back at “bullying” by Trump administration
May 23, 2019
Huawei this week hit back at US attacks by promising a focus on Europe and warning other companies about the way it has been treated by the Donald Trump administration, accusing the president of “bullying”.
Huawei reaffirmed its commitment to roll out 5G the “European way” at a debate this week in the Huawei Cybersecurity Transparency Centre in Brussels.
This follows Trump placing restrictions on US companies doing business with Huawei, leading to Google saying Huawei would no longer have access to the latest updates to the Android operating system. Trump later backed down saying the restrictions would not be implemented for 90 days.
A further blow to Huawei came this week when UK chip design company Arm, a subsidiary of Japan’s Softbank, was reported as instructing its employees to halt active contracts, support and pending engagements with Huawei.
In his remarks at the Brussels meeting, Abraham Liu, Huawei’s chief representative to the EU Institutions, underlined two major points. Firstly, Huawei’s 5G has been co-developed by Europeans and is tailor-made for Europe’s needs and challenges. Secondly, the way Huawei is treated by the current US administration should worry everybody who cares for the respect of the rule of law.
“Huawei’s 5G solution is not just the best on the market, but it is to a large extent a European product, and it’s tailor-made for Europe’s needs,” said Liu. “Huawei has been operating in Europe for nearly 20 years. We now have 12,200 employees in Europe, 70% hired locally. We are pleased that Europe is coming out with its coordinated approach to 5G. The European Union has proved its capacity of bringing European countries together to develop some of the most advanced and comprehensive laws like GDPR. Europe should continue to drive that agenda forward. The EU should make decisions for the benefit of Europe and its citizens.”
He said that Huawei had been respecting all applicable laws and regulations.
“Now Huawei is becoming the victim of the bullying by the US administration,” he said. “This is not just an attack against Huawei. It is an attack on the liberal, rules-based order. This is dangerous. Now it is happening to Huawei. Tomorrow it can happen to any other international company. Can we shut the eyes to such behaviour?”
Market analyst firm Futuresource Consulting said in a statement: “The ongoing trade war between America’s Trump and China’s Xi Jinping has used the smartphone market as a pawn, with the industries in both countries heavily reliant on American-Chinese trade. With US-China trade relations deteriorating, the US government has potentially halted Huawei’s growth, by placing it on the entity list. This effectively blacklists Huawei, preventing US firms from trading with Huawei without a licence.”
It pointed out that Huawei claimed to have developed its own operating system as many Google services were already banned in China.
Huawei took the opportunity at the Brussels event to switch on its new European web site huawei.eu, redesigned to give a state-of-the-art look, making all the info no more than three clicks away, and presenting the company’s priorities in the run-up to the roll-out of 5G networks and technologies over the next few years.
Huawei said the site now featured a more creative use of photography, upgraded news and social media sections, a dedicated section for Huawei-organised events in Europe, a new channel of animated videos, and easy-to-locate explanatory pages on the current key drivers in ICT. The site also explains Huawei’s background and history as a company, its philosophy and core values.
Huawei currently has over 12,200 staff in Europe, of whom nearly 2400 are working in R&D. It runs 23 R&D centres in 14 European countries and operates numerous joint innovation centres in partnership with telecoms and ICT partners. Its European Research Institute (ERI) in Leuven, Belgium, was launched in 2015 to manage this research network and drive digital transformation across Europe.