Huawei founder says growth may slow down, but only a bit’ after the U.S. restrictions

(Reuters) – Huawei Technologies founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei said on Saturday the growth of the Chinese tech giant “can slow down, but just a little bit” as a result of the recent U.S. restrictions.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Huawei is seen on the high-profile high-tech startups, and leaders of the meeting, Viva-Tech,in Paris, France-May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

In the notes to the Japanese press and reported by Nikkei Asian Review, Ren reiterated that the Chinese telecom equipment maker has violated a law.

“It is expected that Huawei’s growth can slow down, but only slightly,” Ren told Japanese media in his first official remarks after the U.S. restrictions, adding that the annual growth of the sales may miss 20%.

On Thursday, Washington put Huawei, one of China’s largest and most successful companies trade on a “black list” which could make it very difficult for Huawei to do business with AMERICAN companies, a decision slammed by China, which said it will take measures to protect its companies.

The developments around the Huawei come at a time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and in the midst of the concerns of the United States that Huawei’s smartphones and network equipment can be used by China to spy on the Americans, allegations the company has repeatedly denied.

A similar U.S. ban on chinese ZTE Corp had almost crippled business for the smaller rival Huawei at the beginning of last year before the uprising was liquidated.

The U.S. Department of Commerce said on Friday may soon be a step back restrictions on Huawei.

Ren said that the company was willing to take such a step and that Huawei would be “fine” even if the US smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. and other U.s. suppliers would not sell chips to the company.

Huawei’s chip arm, HiSilicon said on Friday it has long been prepared on the scenario that may be prohibited, from the purchase of AMERICAN chips and technology, and is able to ensure a steady supply of most products.

The Huawei founder said that the company will not take instructions from the U.S. government.

“We will not change our management at the request of the united states, or accept the monitoring, as ZTE has done,” he said.

In January, U.S. prosecutors unsealed an indictment accusing the Chinese company’s exercise of bank fraud to obtain control of the V. S. of goods and services in Iran and to move money out of the country via the international banking system.

Ren’s daughter, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada in December in connection with the indictment. Mix, who was released on bail, will remain in Vancouver, and is fighting extradition. She has maintained her innocence.

Ren has previously said his daughter’s arrest was politically motivated.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by James Dalgleish

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