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May 20, 2019, 11:37 p.m. EDT

Huawei CEO says U.S. ‘underestimates’ the company’s strength

Founder Ren Zhengfei says Chinese tech giant is prepared for an export ban

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By Mike Murphy


Bloomberg News
Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei Technologies Co., is seen at his company's headquarters in Shenzhen, China, in January.

The founder and chief executive of Huawei Technologies Co. says the U.S. government is underestimating the Chinese tech giant, and within a few years no one will be able to catch up with its 5G technology.

Speaking Tuesday to China’s state broadcaster China Central Television, Ren Zhengfei said a reported move by the Trump administration to temporarily ease export restrictions against Huawei was meaningless, as the company has already made preparations for such an eventuality, including stockpiling chips. He also said Huawei could make its own chips, though that doesn’t mean it intends to stop buying U.S. chips.

Zhengfei said Huawei’s 5G technology would not be affected by a U.S. export ban, and that within two to three years, no company will be able to match its 5G technology.

“The current practice of U.S. politicians underestimates our strength,” he said, according to a translation by TRT News .

Ren said retaliation from the U.S. was inevitable. “We sacrificed [the interests of] individuals and families for the sake of an ideal, to stand at the top of the world,” he said, according to the South China Morning Post . “For this ideal, there will be conflict with the United States sooner or later.”

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials will announce later this week that some companies would be granted 90-day exemptions to the U.S. export ban against Huawei, a move that could give Huawei and U.S. companies more time to find backup solutions, as well as serve as a bargaining chip to potential new trade talks with China.

Last week, the Trump administration announced a ban on U.S. technology and services to Huawei, among other foreign-owned companies, on national-security grounds. On Sunday, Alphabet Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL -0.35%   /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -0.23%   Google revoked Huawei’s Android license, and U.S. chip companies such as Xilinx Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209389378/composite XLNX -0.18%   and Intel Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite INTC -0.79%   cut off chip shipments to Huawei, according to Bloomberg News .

/zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,227.37
-4.26 -0.35%
Volume: 240,442
Sept. 17, 2019 11:15a
P/E Ratio
24.74
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$796.71 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.39M
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/zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,228.41
-2.89 -0.23%
Volume: 290,735
Sept. 17, 2019 11:16a
P/E Ratio
24.75
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$796.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.39M
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/zigman2/quotes/209389378/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 104.20
-0.19 -0.18%
Volume: 572,046
Sept. 17, 2019 11:15a
P/E Ratio
28.53
Dividend Yield
1.42%
Market Cap
$26.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
$723,353
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/zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 51.79
-0.41 -0.79%
Volume: 5.67M
Sept. 17, 2019 11:16a
P/E Ratio
12.04
Dividend Yield
2.44%
Market Cap
$231.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$659,665
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