Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei still wants to make Canada the telecom company's "global centre for theoretical research" despite his daughter Meng Wanzhou's arrest in Vancouver in December 2018 at the behest of the United States for allegedly breaching anti-Iran sanctions.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Ren said that the diplomatic crisis between China and Canada had not changed his plans to further invest in the Great White North, even though the projects' pace had slowed.
He has, however, criticised Canada for the arrest of his daughter, saying that a "smarter country" would have ignored the US request to extradite Meng, Huawei's chief financial officer (CFO), who was charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracies to commit bank and wire fraud.
Ren as well spoke about the US administration's blacklisting of Huawei last month over claims that the company posed an "national security risk" and concerns that it had been spying for the Chinese government.
"I don’t think the US will remove us from the Entity List. They have added Huawei to the list not because we have done something wrong and need to be punished, but because they want to wipe us out. If someone wants to condemn you, they can always trump up a charge", Ren said.
According to him, the biggest problems Huawei has to confront while trying to reduce its reliance on the US lie "in unexpected areas".
"If some small, apparently minor component is missing on your circuit board, you may have to redesign the entire board. And that involves quite a workload", he explained.
The interview comes as US President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he had agreed to allow Huawei to buy products from American high-tech companies that "will not impact our national security".
....amounts of agricultural product from our great Farmers. At the request of our High Tech companies, and President Xi, I agreed to allow Chinese company Huawei to buy product from them which will not impact our National Security. Importantly, we have opened up negotiations...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 29 июня 2019 г.
The US Department of Commerce subsequently added Huawei and its 70 affiliates to a trade blacklist that bars American businesses from selling components to the Shenzhen-based giant without a government license.
However, shortly thereafter, Huawei was given a 90-day "temporary general" license to allow some firms to continue doing business with the Chinese company.
In late May, China’s Commerce Ministry spokesperson, Gao Feng, reportedly said that Beijing would hit back with its own counter-blacklist of “unreliable” foreign enterprises and individuals. The list would purportedly include those who fail to comply with market regulations and substantially damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese firms.
Over the past several months, Huawei has faced allegations that it has been spying through its devices and stealing commercial information on behalf of the Chinese authorities. Both the tech giant and Beijing have vehemently denied the accusations, insisting that it is independent of the government.