Ren Zhengfei, the billionaire founder and chief executive of Huawei Technologies, said he is ready to share its 5G technology with potential American buyers, to help create rival, level playing field.
China currently leads the world in the number of 5G patents
According to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), China’s tech industry is expected to grow by close to half a trillion (US$479 billion) in the next five years, with the help of 5G technology. 5G is also expected to boost the digitalization process of the country’s various industries, predicting a US$1.5 trillion in growth in the same time period.
Currently, there is no American 5G equipment maker.
The offer, would essentially allow the U.S. to finally get in the race for 5G supremacy which is now dominated by China’s Huawei and ZTE, Ericsson of Sweden and Nokia from Finland.
In a two-hour interview with The Economist on September 10th Zhengfei said Huawei is willing to give buyers access to Huawei’s existing 5G patents, licences, code, technical blueprints and production know-how for a one-time fee.
He added that buyers would be able to alter the software code, change it or even use their own to show there are no backdoors, he also stated that the American licensees will be able to sell their 5G equipment based on Huawei’s intellectual property anywhere in the world, except in China.
The move is seen as an olive branch and an attempt to prove, despite US allegations, that Huawei is not engaging in covert spying or surveillance.
Huawei has repeatedly denied claims that its technology can be used to spy on users across the world.
Not everybody is convinced by US allegations.
Microsoft president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith says the US government isn’t being open about the Huawei ban.
According to Smith, when US lawmakers were asked by Microsoft to explain the threat, they’ve been too vague for his liking.
“Oftentimes, what we get in response is, ‘Well, if you knew what we knew, you would agree with us’,” Smith told Bloomberg. “And our answer is, ‘Great, show us what you know so we can decide for ourselves. That’s the way this country works.”
According to a Reuters report last month, the US Commerce Department has received more than 130 applications from companies for licences to sell US goods to Huawei, The Trump administration, however, has not yet granted any such licence in over two months.
In July this year, a UK parliamentary committee has concluded there are no technical grounds for excluding Chinese network kit vendor Huawei from the country’s 5G networks.
In a letter from the chair of the Science & Technology Committee to the UK’s digital minister Jeremy Wright, the committee says: “We have found no evidence from our work to suggest that the complete exclusion of Huawei from the UK’s telecommunications networks would, from a technical point of view, constitute a proportionate response to the potential security threat posed by foreign suppliers.”
In the interview with The Economist Zhengfei stated that Google has also been lobbying the Trump administration to allow it to resume supplying Huawei.
According to SCMP Huawei is expected to delay overseas sales of its upcoming 5G Mate 30 series smartphones for lack of access to Google services under the US ban.
Sources: Forbes.com, SCMP.com, techradar.com, parliment.uk
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