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Huawei says Trump ‘clear and correct’ on the 5G as trade deadline looms

BARCELONA (Reuters) – China’s Huawei welcomed comments from President Donald Trump on the future of the U.S. mobile communications on Sunday and claimed its position as a leading smartphone manufacturer as Washington and Beijing seek a trade war cease-fire.

FILE PHOTO – Guo Ping, Rotating Chief Executive Officer Huawei Technologies company, to participate in a meeting of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

AMERICAN and Chinese negotiators are set to meet for a sixth straight day of negotiations on Sunday as they work to strike a deal before March 1, the deadline is a trade dispute that has disrupted global trade and slowed the world economy.

In the middle of the imbroglio is Huawei Technologies, accused by Washington of sanctions busting, theft of intellectual property, and facilitate the Chinese state espionage operations.

Speaking ahead of the mobile industry’s biggest global event starting in Barcelona, on Monday, Huawei Chairman Guo Ping reiterated his company’s position that it has never and would never allow a country to spy on you through her equipment.

Guo, who is in possession of Huawei’s rotating presidency, said Trump is the recent assertion that the United States needed to move forward in the mobile communication by means of competition instead of looking to block technology was “clear and correct”.

Trump’s tweets on Thursday did not specifically mention Huawei, the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile network equipment, but appeared to soften earlier US statements that it should be excluded from the Western networks on security grounds.

“I have noticed that the president on Twitter, he said that the U.S. should be quicker and smarter 5G or even 6G in the future, and he has realized that the US is lagging behind in this respect, and I think his message is clear and correct,” Guo said, speaking through an interpreter.

He said that the United States doesn’t represent the whole world and called for equipment manufacturers, network operators and governments to work together to develop reliable standards for managing cyber security risks.

“We need to have a universal standard that should be verifiable. It should not be based on politics,” mr. Guo said.

THE FOLD OF THE PHONE, FIRM PRICE TAG

Huawei also asked to confirm his position as one of the world’s leading technology companies with the unveiling of a foldable 5G smartphone in front of an audience of media and analysts in Barcelona.

Huawei, the world’s second largest smartphone seller after Samsung, said it had taken the lead in developing phones for 5G – which promises super-fast internet speeds – because it was also involved in the development of the networks.

The new Huawei Mate X has two back-to-back screens that unfold to an eight-inch tablet on the display and goes on sale later this year with a price of 2,299 euros ($2,607), setting a new upper limit for consumer smartphones.

Samsung has unveiled its own foldable smartphone last week, priced at nearly $2,000, as part of an effort to get to the top of the technology of Chinese rivals and Apple Inc.

The Huawei logo is displayed ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC 19) in Barcelona, Spain, February 24, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Thomas Husson, principal analyst at Forrester Research, said the Helmsman X showed Huawei is an innovative technology company and is no longer trailing by American and Korean competitors.

“The fact that Huawei is not only a network supplier, but also a smartphone manufacturer … gives them a competitive advantage for the 5G. It is also a double-edge sword as some people say the security risks are greater,” Husson said.

Chinese Xiaomi, the fourth-largest smartphone maker, also unveiled a 5G handset on Sunday, but without the folding screen or high price tags touted by Huawei and Samsung devices. Xiaomi is the offer will start at € 599 ($679) as it comes on the market in May.

Reporting by Paul Sandle, Jack Stubbs and Douglas Busvine; Additional reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by David Holmes

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