Ren Zhengfei's Interview with The Economist

bbc-interview

01 David Rennie, Beijing Bureau Chief and "Chaguan" Columnist, The Economist: Mr. Ren, before we ask you questions about Huawei, we would like to ask you a question about globalization and about how technology is challenging globalization, because you're also a very important global business leader, and you now have big companies that are selling products and services that can only make sense in a world of a great degree of trust. You know, it's not selling tennis shoes or tennis rackets. It's selling an autonomous car or a medical device. So this globalization is now seeing trade in products that requires a lifetime of trust, at the same time as countries like China and America find it very difficult to trust one another. Can this problem be resolved? What is your view on how this problem can be solved?

Ren: Please be straightforward in your questions. I will also be very frank in my answers.

Economic globalization can bring substantial benefits to all of humanity. This is because it will play a significant role in driving the optimal allocation of resources and reduction of service cost, thereby accelerating the pace of social progress. Economic globalization was a concept put forward by Western countries. Their guiding principle was to allow the West to trade their advanced technology and equipment for developing countries' raw materials and cost-efficient labor forces. This enabled global trade. But the West did not expect that developing countries would slowly begin to move up the value chain with production of low-end products.

The West had a serious economic crisis in the 1960s and 1970s, brought about by conflicts between employers and employees. Some Western economists suggested higher pay, higher commodity prices, and higher consumption would solve this crisis. This theory worked well to address the West's problems for a while. For the next several decades until the end of the last century, their economy grew very quickly. Sustaining such an economic model requires very high yields though. Without high yields, it's going to be very difficult to ensure that you have enough wealth to distribute. Although developing countries created a massive market space for Western countries to sell in, many products from these developing countries also entered developed markets. The clashes and contradictions that arose during the process are not an inherent problem with globalization, but occurred because of a lack of effective coordination between countries of these two different development stages.

Let me use the Europe-China relationship as an example to explain how we could possibly address this problem. China has made a commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it will significantly open up its service and manufacturing sectors. Over the last two years, this opening up has been accelerating, even though it is still a bit behind the promised schedule.

The UK and Europe have accumulated hundreds of years of experience in the service sector. China has a huge demand for services. In this sense, if the export of large quantities of services is allowed from the West into China, it will facilitate the social advancement of China. In addition, the money earned by China from Europe through the export of products will return to Europe through the export of products and services, creating a more balanced economic situation.

Let's look at another example. China will reduce automobile tariffs to a very low level over the next five years. The UK and Europe produce the world's highest quality automobiles, while Japan produces the most cost-effective quality automobiles. Today, we need to address the problems arising from globalization one at a time, through consultation. There is nothing wrong with globalization itself. These problems are arising because the development mechanism has failed to adapt to some of the changes in our new environment and the different players involved are not sitting down to have good discussions about how best to coordinate on these problems.

Let's take Russia as another example. If Russia had been accepted as a member of the European Union, I estimate that the trade between Russia and other Western countries would represent at least one trillion euros, because of Russia's energy exports and Western countries' machinery and equipment exports. These transactions would bring a lot of money into Europe, which would help Europe address the issues they are seeing related to increasing economic disparity.

I've had very good talks with George Osborne and David Cameron in the past. Back then, Osborne had already lowered the UK's tax rate to 21%, but these cuts didn't impact their national revenue. Why? Because the UK only allowed welfare to be distributed under certain conditions. To receive welfare, recipients would have to be actively seeking a job or make some form of contributions to community service, such as caring for the elderly or engaging in public health activities. The reduction in tax revenue equaled their reduced social welfare spending, and thus ensuring stability within the country.

Afterwards, Theresa May's administration announced that it would further lower the tax rates to 17%. All of these policies adopted in the UK are serving as the DNA for it to become an investment center again. All in all, this proves that different players have to keep adapting to the new globalized environment. A one-size-fits-all approach won't work.

This is my humble opinion.

02 David Rennie: I know my colleagues have many questions about Huawei. The one country you have not mentioned is the US. So you have talked about Europe and Japan. They can see the economic globalization. When you look at the US-China relationship, are you worried about the future of globalization?

Ren: Yes, I think China-US relations will affect the future of globalization. The US is the most powerful country in the world. It used to maintain order as the "policeman" of the world, and in return it was rewarded with the US dollar becoming the world's currency. The US collects seigniorage from the world by issuing US dollars. If the US continued to maintain world order, it would not stand to lose anything.

However, the US has destroyed this mechanism. People no longer believe that the US is trying to maintain order in the world, or that the US dollar is the most reliable reserve currency. When the world's confidence in the US and the US dollar starts to wane, the national debts and stock markets in the US will face crises, which will cause great economic and political turmoil in the US.

03 Patrick Foulis, Business Affairs Editor, The Economist: During 2019, US diplomats have made a big effort to persuade its allies not to use Huawei. Could Mr. Ren talk about how successful those efforts have been? Clearly it's focusing on its core allies like Britain and Australia, but it also looks as though countries like Vietnam have been put under heavy pressure not to use Huawei products. So how successful has the US boycott been?

Ren: First of all, it's perfectly normal for customers not to buy Huawei's equipment. In fact, many customers did not buy Huawei's equipment in the past. Most customers make their decisions based on commercial considerations.

When it comes to 5G, I think the US may be wrong to politicize 5G or treat it as something dangerous. Countries should make their decisions about 5G to facilitate their development rather than fulfil political agendas.

Let me give you an example. About 1,000 years ago, China was the most powerful country in the world. The prosperity depicted in the famous painting "Along the River During the Qinming Festival" was not fictional; it was real.

Several hundred years ago, the philosophical thoughts and social systems in the UK led to the Industrial Revolution. The British invented the train and steamship. However, China continued to rely mainly on horse-drawn carriages for transportation. Those carriages travelled at much slower speeds than trains, and they could carry far less cargo than steamboats. That's why China was left behind.

The UK became an industrial powerhouse, and managed to sell its products all over the world, hugely impacting social progress in many countries. Today, about two-thirds of the world's population speak English. With this example, I want to say that speed determines social progress.

5G is a connectivity technology that delivers high speeds, high bandwidth, and low latency. 5G represents speed in the information society. Countries that have speed will move forward rapidly. On the contrary, countries that give up speed and excellent connectivity technology may see economic slowdown.

The British are very intelligent, and British universities are among the best in the world. If the UK wants to make a comeback in industry, it needs speed in the information society.

Optical fibre networks and 5G technology that is based on optical fibre networks will connect supercomputers and super storage systems to support AI. If AI is able to increase productivity by ten-fold, then the UK will become an industrial power with a workforce equivalent to hundreds of millions of people. When I say AI can increase productivity by ten-fold, this is just an estimation. The truth is that in some rare cases, with the aid of AI, efficiency can increase by 100 times or even 1,000 times.

Alan Turing, the father of AI, was British, as was the scientist who cloned Dolly the sheep. I simply cannot imagine what the world will be like when genetic and electronic technologies come together. I believe the UK has enormous potential for revitalization. Speed will determine whether the UK can be successful again.

04 Patrick Foulis: Could I ask some questions about Huawei in the last few months and the implications of the American actions against the company? So the first question is, could you talk about the financial performance of the business since May when the Entity List began? Have you seen a drop off in your revenues?

Ren: Our revenue has grown by 19.7% by the end of August, while our profits were similar to last year's. Our growth rate has declined from about 30% in the beginning of the year, to 23% by the end of June, and now down to 19.7%. Our profits didn't increase largely due to a significant increase in our strategic investments. We have recruited a few thousand more employees worldwide, mostly high-end talent like young geniuses and fresh PhD graduates, to help patch our holes caused by the Entity List.

We have patched our holes from 5G to core networks. On September 18, we will announce an AI cluster that connects 1,024 Ascend chips. This will be the fastest AI platform in the world.

Currently, the Entity List still impacts our consumer business, and it will take some time to patch our holes in this area.

Patrick Foulis: Can I ask, so if you look at the consumer business now and just take a snapshot, is it declining? Is it shrinking outside of China?

Ren: Our smartphone sales once declined in markets outside China, but the rate of that decline is now decreasing, now at around 10%.

05 Patrick Foulis: Later this month, I think you'll be launching the Mate 30, the new handset. At the moment, will it have Android and Google apps available on it? What's the latest on that?

Ren: The Mate 30 series won't have the Google Mobile Services (GMS) ecosystem pre-installed.

Patrick Foulis: That leads to my next question. If you launch a handset that doesn't have the full suite of Google apps on it, is it correct to think that the volume you sell outside of China will be much lower than in the past? And following from that, does that suggest that the company faces quite a big financial hit in the second half of the year, in the fourth quarter?

Ren: We would like to continue using Android, because we remain on good terms with Google. Even if the US government won't allow us to continue using Android, we have our alternatives. It will take us two to three years to replace Android with our own system, during which time our phone sales in markets outside China will see some decline. We think it is understandable. Our smartphones have their unique features in addition to ecosystem applications, so we believe there will be many more customers who will like and accept our products. We will launch the Mate 30 series in Munich on September 19, and you can find out what features they will have then.

Patrick Foulis: Over this period when you may have to roll out your own system, do you think it's possible that a company can be pushed into making a loss?

Ren: No, our growth will slow down, but we won't see losses.

Patrick Foulis: If I was running Google and Huawei ends up pushing its operating system out globally, how worried should I be?

Ren: Google is trying to persuade the US government to allow us to use their ecosystem. In this regard, we are willing to work with Google. Our operating system wasn't initially intended for smartphones. Moreover, Google's operating system is open source, so we can continue to use it. The US limits our use of Google Mobile Services, GMS. That ecosystem includes thousands of partners, and Huawei wouldn't be able to build a comparable ecosystem in just a couple of days. If the US government allows us to continue to use Google's ecosystem, the US would maintain its dominant position in this field. If the US government refuses to grant the license, it will hurt them in the long run.

06 Patrick Foulis: Part of your job is to try to rebuild trust. Are there some radical options open to the company that tries to rebuild trust? For example, welcoming a foreign investor or perhaps even selling parts of the 5G business operated outside of China. Could Mr. Ren talk a bit about the radical options of changing the structure of the company that might help rebuild trust?

Ren: It's unlikely that we will consider introducing external investors, because they often focus on profit. For Huawei, we put our aspiration above profit. Would we license our technologies to Western countries? Yes. We would even be open to licensing all of our technologies. Our aspiration is to "serve humanity and achieve the pinnacle of science". Collaboration is consistent with our values, so we are willing to license our equipment to Western countries.

Patrick Foulis: Would this be a sale of the business, perhaps, the 5G business in some geographies, or licensing the technology to other manufacturers? Perhaps you could elaborate.

Ren: We can license technologies and production techniques. Whoever gets the technologies can develop new things based on them.

Patrick Foulis: Would Huawei employees and facilities be transferred to the new owners or just the intellectual property?

Ren: We would most certainly not transfer our employees. It would just be the technological know-how.

Patrick Foulis: Who do you think would be the partners? What kind of companies in America, for example, might be counterparts?

Ren: I haven't had any of this kind of discussion with anyone else yet, so I have no idea.

Patrick Foulis: Many people in Silicon Valley and in America will read this article, so this is the chance to explain to them the plan.

Ren: Right. I hope this article can help clear up some conflicts.

David Rennie: Both Mr. Foulis and I were based in America for many years. So more than half of our readers live in America. So if you're telling the American political world and the business world that you understand trust is a very important question, some American politicians really say, "I'm not interested in hearing about this piece or that piece of Huawei technology." They have a bigger problem: Why would you let a Chinese company build something as sensitive as 5G? So the political problem that you have in America is very hard to solve. Could you just explain a little bit more how big a transfer you could imagine? How big a solution are you thinking about to solve this problem? How radical a transfer of 5G technology?

Ren: If we transfer all our technologies to the US, then they can modify the code themselves. Neither Huawei nor anyone else in the world will be able to access these technologies anymore. The US will have independent 5G. Security won't be an issue as long as the US can properly manage its own companies. Then it will not be about us selling 5G in the US, but rather about US companies selling their own 5G in the US.

Hal Hodson, Asia Technology Correspondent, The Economist: Mr. Ren, would you envisage Huawei competing with this hypothetical new entity in 5G technologies, outside of China, obviously not inside the United States, but in Africa or parts of Europe? Would you imagine competing with this new entity or how would that work?

Ren: Huawei can compete with new entities in those markets as well.

Stephanie Studer, Senior China Business Correspondent, The Economist: Is that a ballpark figure, Mr. Ren, on how much this sale would cost?

Ren: I don't have a number right now. This was just brought up, and I haven't done any calculations yet.

Stephanie Studer: Not even a range?

Ren: No, but we can talk about the range of technologies.

David Rennie: Politically, would it be better to have an American partner for 5G, or a European or Japanese partner? Or do you think your problem is American, so you should look for an American company willing to buy your 5G technology?

Ren: It depends on how big a market the potential partner would be able to carve out. If they could only capture a little market share through the purchase of our technologies, then that wouldn't be worthwhile. Such a deal is only feasible when they can anticipate a large market share using our technologies. This is an evaluation process our potential partners will have to go through.

Patrick Foulis: What would be the time horizon for a radical project like this? Would it take a couple of years to achieve or could it be done quickly?

Ren: Pretty quickly.

Patrick Foulis: Before the 2020 election, perhaps?

Ren: This has nothing to do with the US general election. When I talk to you all, the general election is never a topic.

07 David Rennie: Can I ask you another political, kind of cultural question? When I worked in America, many very important American politicians would say, "China is rising very fast, but America has a magic weapon. Its magic weapon is it's a democracy and we have freedom of speech, and our university students are free to study and think whatever they want. China is an autocratic country so they cannot achieve real innovation." Now, people look at China and companies like Huawei are innovating. The Chinese political system is a one-party system, where students cannot see everything on the Internet and cannot read any book they want. Does that impose any limit on Chinese innovation or creativity? Is there an advantage to being a democratic country in the field of innovation?

Ren: Academic freedom is the foundation of innovation. The freedom to have different academic ideas and to study whatever you want is very important. Undoubtedly, the US has the world's most innovation-friendly environment. Thanks to the Internet, people have easier access to information. Science and engineering papers have nothing to do with ideology, so they can be published and shared all over the world.

For example, the very source of 5G technology is a mathematical paper written in 2007 by Erdal Arikan, a Turkish mathematics professor. Two months after he published the paper, we read it. Then we put a lot of work into researching the paper and turned it into today's 5G standard.

China still has an inclusive environment when it comes to science and technology. On top of that, Huawei has a large number of non-Chinese scientists. We are doing our best to take in the nutrients of the times we are in, so we can move forward faster.

David Rennie: Clearly on the Internet you can see scientific papers, but there are also large parts of the global Internet that talk about politics, that talk about history, that are not available inside China to most people, because the Chinese government closes that off. You have built this beautiful campus in Dongguan, full of beautiful European buildings. Do you also make sure that your designers and your researchers have VPNs so that they can see foreign news or foreign politics to look at big important questions that are not available to Chinese people?

Ren: If our engineers became politicians, Huawei would have collapsed. Engineers should focus on developing good products. They don't need to read about politics. What's the point of them caring about political issues? If our engineers are all out protesting, who is going to pay them?

David Rennie: To ask on that point, there was a famous speech that Deng Xiaoping gave in March 1978 about science in China, and he said exactly that it was time to allow scientists to do science and not to ask them to read too many political essays or to study politics. When I talk to professors at Chinese universities, they complain that the pressure now is to study Xi Jinping's thoughts and to study a lot of politics, and they feel that the time to think is being limited. You're a private company. Do you feel pressured to have your scientists studying politics, or do you protect them, like Deng Xiaoping said, from studying politics to let them focus?

Ren: I was there when Deng Xiaoping made those remarks at a national science conference. I was one of the 6,000 representatives, and I burst into tears when hearing his speech. Deng said we should spend five days at work and one day for political studies. Back then, Chinese people worked six days a week, and too much time was spent on political studies. We were very happy that we could spend five days a week at work. I have always believed that politics should be done by politicians, and engineers should focus on technology. Engineers who don't understand technology aren't worth their wages.

David Rennie: You are a Party member, and party members now have an app for studying Xi Jinping's thoughts on their phones. Do they worry that some people in the Chinese Communist Party are forgetting the wisdom of that speech in 1978, and they now want engineers and busy people like you to spend maybe an hour or two every day studying politics?

Ren: President Xi's speeches cover a lot of areas, such as agriculture, healthcare, and rural development. These topics are not strongly related to us. As we are a technology company, we mainly study his speeches about science and technology development. Of course, those who work for the Party or government or those who want to become party or country leaders may need to spend more time learning about all those areas.

I listen to President Xi's speeches. In his speech at the Boao Forum for Asia, he spoke about China further opening up to foreign investment. When it came to his speech at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, he talked about reducing tariffs for vehicles. These speeches contain his instructions, and we are pleased that our country continues to develop under these instructions. The tax for small and medium-sized enterprises in Shenzhen has been significantly reduced, and low-income workers such as taxi drivers no longer need to pay income tax. This is a lesson learned from Hong Kong. China Central Television broadcasted lessons learned from Hong Kong. Caring about poor people's lives is one such lesson. We should provide poor people with accommodation. If their lives are up to a certain standard, there is a much lower chance they will cause problems. Even if a small number of people do stir up trouble, they will have few supporters. These points are also part of President Xi's thoughts, which I saw on TV.

08 David Rennie: Just on the question of Hong Kong. We recently saw that a private company, Cathay Pacific Airways, was forced to change its senior leaders and some employees for reasons that are 100% political and related to the protests in Hong Kong. When you see the Chinese central government using its strength to make a private company take political decisions, does that make life more difficult for every private company in China, when you want to tell foreigners that you are not controlled by politics? When they did that to Cathay Pacific, did they make your life more difficult?

Ren: The issue in Hong Kong has been caused by extreme capitalism. Large capitalist institutions have made enormous amounts of money, and they even control many newsstands, underground garages, and coffee shops in Hong Kong. They have gained a lot of benefits, but the general public don't have much money, and many have fairly low living standards.

I saw the notice issued by Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in relation to Cathay Pacific. This notice said that some pilots and cabin crew members who worked for Cathay Pacific had been involved in questionable activities related to the Hong Kong protests. So CAAC had concerns about these pilots. That's why CAAC asked Cathay Pacific to regulate and control its flights to the Chinese mainland. I think CAAC's action makes sense, because it was taken to ensure aviation security. In addition, there have been no such limitations to Cathay Pacific's flights to other places.

I personally believe the Chinese central government has acted sensibly in dealing with Hong Kong. China adheres to the "one country, two systems" principle. The system in the Chinese mainland and the system in Hong Kong are different. Demonstrations, protests, and shouting slogans are allowed in Hong Kong, but I do not think violence is appropriate.

The Chinese central government still hasn't taken any action in Hong Kong. If the current situation in Hong Kong continues, business, finance, and tourism in Hong Kong will be affected, and it will be more difficult to address the issues with the poor there.

A lesson we are learning from the current situation in Hong Kong is that the divide between the rich and the poor shouldn't be too large, and extreme poverty should be eliminated.

The Chinese central government has made great efforts to eliminate poverty. In recent years, I have personally travelled through several provinces along the Chinese border, such as Xinjiang, Tibet, and Yunnan, places previously known for being very poor. From what I saw, the living standards of the people there have improved a lot, especially in Tibet. Tibet has improved faster than Xinjiang, and both places seem to be enjoying much stability. I didn't know the real situation there until I had gone there and seen how people's lives had improved with my own eyes.

I think more foreign journalists should also be able to visit these places. I have been to some of the most poverty-stricken areas in Yunnan, Guizhou, Tibet, Xinjiang, and other regions, and I don't think a color revolution will happen in China.

09 David Rennie: One last quick question about politics. So many interviewers have asked you about your daughter Meng Wanzhou in Canada, but there are also two Canadian citizens currently being detained in China, and the Chinese foreign administration has said that the detention should be a lesson to the Canadian government. We know that because the Canadian embassy said these two Canadian detainees, one of whom is a former diplomat, are not allowed to see their family or make any phone calls. They have not spoken to anyone except some Canadian diplomats. They were allowed a book, and then they had their glasses taken away, so they can't read a book. I'm sure people have described the situation to you. Do you think that the conditions of these two Canadian detainees, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, are appropriate conditions, or do you think that the Chinese government should give them access to a lawyer? They have no access to a lawyer or access to their families. But your daughter has access to a lawyer and access to her family, and can travel around Vancouver. But they are locked up in an unknown location with no access to lawyers. What do you think of the conditions of the detention of the two Canadians citizens?

Ren: I don't know anything about these two individuals. I don't know how the government deals with such cases. I only know Meng Wanzhou has not committed any crime. Her arrest was wrong from the beginning, and her case needs to be addressed according to the law. No one has told me anything about the situation you just mentioned, because they would have no reason to. I also have no channels to get that kind of information.

10 Hal Hodson: Huawei is one of the biggest infrastructure companies in the world. And surely over the last 20 years, it has become larger and larger, and has been the target of intelligence agencies. I'm not just talking about backdoors, but in terms of infiltration, and in terms of operational security. Can you tell us a bit about how Huawei approaches operational security and how much you spend on counter intelligence?

Ren: First of all, at Huawei, cyber security and privacy protection are the company's top priorities. Huawei resolutely incorporates requirements of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into all of our business processes. We are now investing heavily to upgrade existing networks and build new networks.

Second, for more than 30 years, Huawei has provided network services to over 1,500 carriers in more than 170 countries and regions, serving approximately three billion users. We have maintained a proven track record in security. In fact, we have never had any major security incidents.

Besides, we are more than willing to submit ourselves to strict oversight in countries where we operate. At present, the UK has conducted the most stringent oversight of Huawei. Why is the UK determined to continue using our equipment? Because they still trust us despite the few problems and flaws they have found with our equipment. They may even trust us more than other suppliers because we have been more rigorously reviewed.

11 Stephanie Studer: Mr. Ren, one of the other pioneers of China's technology sector, Ma Yun of Alibaba, retires today, September 10. When he announced this last year, he was the great exception in handing over the reign. As I'm sure you know, many other Chinese bosses don't do this until too late to the detriment to their companies. What do you think the costs and benefits would be to your retirement? Do you think it could be an expedient to have an earlier one, given the current political climate that Huawei finds itself in?

Ren: I will retire when my thinking slows down. Currently, I still have many creative ideas, so I will continue working for some time.

Stephanie Studer: How soon do you think that retirement might be?

Ren: I don't know. It depends on the circumstances.

12 David Rennie: Have you seen the American documentary called "American Factory"? If you have seen it, did you get any ideas about the difference between American and Chinese ways of working?

Ren: I heard this was produced by Obama. Someone described it to me, but I have not seen it yet.

13 Stephanie Studer: You spoke earlier, this rather bold idea you had this morning, to sell the core of your business really. I imagine by that you mean 5G, and you would continue to work on 6G, the next generation. So could you tell us more about what motivates you to do this? Because I imagine that it might just be pushing the problem down the road. Your 6G may be also not accepted when it is up and running globally. So how does this help you exactly? What would be the main reason for doing this?

Ren: I'm talking about licensing our 5G technology. Licensing 5G to others does not mean that Huawei would stop working on 5G itself. We hope that the speed of technological development in the West can increase, so we are looking at the licensing of all our 5G technology to help facilitate this process. I think Huawei will continue to take the lead when it comes to 6G research, but our judgment is that the commercial use of 6G won't begin for at least 10 years.

Therefore, transferring 5G technology to other companies does not mean we will stop working on it. Instead, the money we get from this transfer will allow us to make greater strides forward.

Patrick Foulis: Just to be clear, it's not licensing in the sense that there's an annual payment, like what Arm does. It's a one-off transaction which gives the buyer the permanent right to use the technology and intellectual property.

Ren: Yes. It is a one-off payment.

Patrick Foulis: What do the executives of the company think about this plan? I'm not sure you had a chance to discuss it but would they be shocked to hear that you are preparing to do something so dramatic?

Ren: I don't think they would be shocked. Because for Huawei, we hope to see a balanced world. A balanced distribution of interests is conducive to Huawei's survival in this world. This same concept was put forward by the UK more than 100 years ago.

David Rennie: You sometimes use this very powerful image of the old Soviet airplane that is still flying with many holes. When I hear you talking about your thinking about 5G, it is a bit like an airplane pilot who is worried about going down so you maybe throw something heavy out of the airplane and you can keep flying. Does that reflect your thinking?

Ren: No. Licensing 5G to other companies would allow Huawei to get some money. It's just like adding more firewood to fuel our scientific research efforts.

Hal Hodson: Mr. Ren, do you think that the US business and political community has what it takes to take this 5G IP package and make it a global competitor to Huawei?

Ren: I don't think so.

Hal Hodson: So just a nice gesture then?

Ren: Yes. But if the US wants to buy from us, we will be serious about pursuing that option.

Hal Hodson: So you see it as creating a fair technological race and giving up your lead and resetting the clock if America will go for it?

Ren: Yes, that's right.

David Rennie: Thank you very much for your time.

Ren: Welcome to see us often. If you want to know if Huawei can survive, you can come and see us at the same time next year.