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Beijing won’t just ‘watch Huawei be slaughtered on the chopping board’, company chief warns US

Banning Chinese products from the American market may result in a retaliation from the Chinese market, Huawei head has warned. If the electronic giant is barred from the US, the same may happen to American firms in China.

“The Chinese government will not just stand by and watch Huawei be slaughtered on the chopping board,” Chairman Eric Xu told reporters at the launch of Huawei’s annual report.

“Why wouldn’t the Chinese government ban the use of 5G chips or 5G chip-powered base stations, smartphones and other smart devices provided by American companies, for cybersecurity reasons?”

The US claims Huawei equipment gives the Chinese government opportunity to snoop on clients’ communications. Washington placed it on a blacklist last May and has been pressuring allies to bar the company from upgrading their networks to a 5G standard.

Some, like Germany and Britain, wouldn’t yield to the pressure, saying they found no credible evidence that Huawei technology poses a security threat.

Xu predicted that further attacks against Huawei may result in Beijing barring the Chinese market to American chip producers and switching to new suppliers.

“Even if this situation you mentioned happened, Huawei and also other Chinese companies can choose to buy chipsets from Samsung from [South] Korea, MTK from Taiwan, and in China, and use those companies to develop chips,” Xu said when asked about an alleged plan of the Trump administration to torpedo Huawei’s supply from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

He added that a full-fledged war involving bans and restrictions between the US and China would disrupt the entire microelectronic industry and not just Huawei.

The annual report showed Huawei sales slopping to a three-year low in 2019. But 2020 will be an even more difficult year for the company, company officials said, citing the global economic slowdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic and continued pressure by the US.

The pandemic and its consequences have been given much attention at the Tuesday event, starting with the fact that all journalists had only a virtual presence at it. Huawei said the health crisis showed the necessity for reliable communication capacities and that it was prepared to do its part in helping its clients throughout the world to deal with the situation.




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