Shenzhen, China: In his latest meeting with international media, Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu tackled again the security allegations facing the company and reiterated the importance of 5G to the future of the world, noting that: “Technology advancements bring benefits to humankind. This is particularly true for 5G. 5G can bring benefits to the general public, enabling them to enjoy a much better digital experience. It's certainly not an atomic bomb, because 5G will not hurt people.”
On the global accusations facing Huawei in cybersecurity:
So we have been wondering, and I think many other people may have been asking this question, is the recent fixation on Huawei truly about cybersecurity, or could there be other motivations? Are they truly considering the cybersecurity and the privacy protection of the people in other nations, or are there possibly other motives?
Some people argue that they try to find leverage for the US-China trade negotiations. US government is undertaking a well-coordinated geopolitical campaign against Huawei. It's essentially using a national machine against a small company, as small as a sesame seed.
On the need for international collaboration:
Cybersecurity in itself is certainly a technical issue that requires expertise to address, and that's also what all the scientists and engineers in the world have been working on, trying to address cybersecurity. In that context, Huawei has been working with different governments and industry partners to hopefully put in place agreed standards, so that people can take those standards to measure how secure the products from all of the vendors are.
Huawei's collaboration with the UK government and also the UK industry has been a role model of China-UK cooperation. That technical judgments should be made on a clear-eyed view of the potential threat. It should not be simply politicized. The UK government has had concerns about the security of Huawei's equipment. That's the very reason that Huawei has worked together with the UK government in putting in place the HCSEC, Cyber Security Evaluation Center, to embark on partnerships to address those concerns.
The fact that we delivered the source code to the UK HCSEC and the extensive testing that HCSEC has done verified that there is no backdoor in Huawei's equipment. The concerns some countries have right now around backdoors have long been addressed in the UK.
This is a constructive and friendly model of cooperation that has helped to address and bridge the differences of values and cultures of the east and the west. This model has allowed Huawei to constantly invest and develop in the UK, and allowed our telco customers to be able to use Huawei's technologies, products, and solutions in serving the British people.
On Huawei’s USD 2 billion investment in cybersecurity:
Some people may question why Huawei would need three to five years to improve our software engineering capabilities. What's the purpose of the additional 2 billion US dollar investment?
We have to work to satisfy the requirements our customers have now while working on code refactoring, so we definitely need to have an additional budget. That's where the US$2 billion comes in. Essentially, that would be used primarily for legacy code refactoring, training or upskilling of our R&D engineers, and so on.
We realised that this is definitely not just about addressing the concerns of the UK; it carries a lot of weight and to a certain degree is the foundation to Huawei's future development. We think of this as the cornerstone that enables Huawei to realise our long-term aspiration.
One more thing I want to say is that these issues mentioned just now are not unique to Huawei. I think these are challenges that all companies in our industry have to work on.
We enjoy one advantage. We are not a public company, so it would be totally fine that we make less money today. As long as there is a future, it'll be our greatest victory. And many of our employees hold company shares. I think that they would understand this choice. They would prefer lower profitability today for the long term future instead of more profits today without a long-term future for the company.
On Huawei’s future plans in 5G:
To me, there are three types of markets when it comes to 5G adoption. The first type is markets with strong demand for 5G. Those countries include China, Japan, South Korea, and some GCC countries.
The second type is developed countries in Europe, and the US as well. These countries do not currently have a strong demand for 5G, and they are not that developed yet even on 4G rollout. The third type is largely the developing markets, where we do not see real demand for 5G at this point of time.
Huawei's revenue from 5G in the next few years will primarily come from the first type of markets, and a small proportion of our revenue will come from the second type of markets.
Huawei's 4G equipment is not deployed in all of the countries in the world. And we certainly do not expect our 5G equipment to be chosen by all customers in all countries. Rather, we would focus on providing good services to the countries and telecom operators who choose Huawei.