Ren Zhengfei struck a casually defiant tone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland when asked about the U.S. government's blacklisting of Huawei. He said Tuesday that being added to a U.S. list of sanctioned companies “didn't hurt us much.”
“We basically withstood the challenges," Ren said. President Donald Trump's administration has been lobbying allies in Europe and elsewhere to block wireless carriers from using Huawei's equipment in next-generation superfast mobile networks over concerns it could facilitate cyberespionage by the Chinese government. The company has denied the allegations.
Ren spoke just as Trump arrived in Davos to deliver a speech and meetings. “This year the U.S. might further escalate their campaign against Huawei but I feel the impact on Huawei's business would not be very significant," Ren said, speaking through an interpreter.
Huawei has learned from its experiences and put in a stronger team, Ren said. “We are more confident that we can survive even further attacks," he said.