Li Dafeng's statement at the Huawei Press Conference on March 7, 2019
Good Morning everyone, thank you for being here today.
I’m Li Dafeng, Executive Member of the Supervisory Board, and Director of the ICT Infrastructure Managing Board Office.
I’d worked in Africa for nearly 10 years. In 2011, mobile payment had not started in China, but when I travelled to Kenya, I was surprised to find that many Kenyan people made payments and transfer via Safaricom’s M-PESA, a mobile banking service. A mobile phone was not only for communication, but a part of life. Now 90% of Kenyan adults use M-PESA, which reduces the use of cash. Crime also falls.
From then on, I have been a strong believer that everyone in the world should be connected, and entitled to enjoy the benefits of technology.
Today, as many countries are on the cusp of implementing 5G, what we need is open and fair competition. Instead, the U.S. Government is using legislative overreach to interfere with the market. As it stands, it can’t deploy the most advanced 5G technologies on behalf of market players. Politicizing 5G will only cause damage to industry and businesses. And it will inevitably inhibit U.S. consumers from reaping the potential economic and social benefits of 5G.
Though we don’t have many customers in the U.S., we have always striven to serve them with the best products and technologies. We believe even those living in rural, mountainous and far-flung areas deserve a chance to be included in the digital world. Every satisfied customer means that 20,000 or 30,000 residents in Kentucky or Tennessee can also enjoy high-speed Internet as a result of our efforts.
Moreover, a market lacking in competition drives up the costs of network deployment. These costs are ultimately shouldered by consumers. As Mr. Yang Chaobin stated earlier, Huawei’s participation could save the North American market capital expenditure a minimum of 20 billion U.S. dollars in 4 years.
Currently, Huawei has over a thousand employees working across seven offices in the US. We have also invested substantially in the American telecommunications industry, including by establishing partnerships with hundreds of U.S. companies. We purchase billions of dollars’ worth of components, equipment, and software from these companies every year. The NDAA law can only impair Huawei’s long-term commitment to invest more and hire more here.
Though the world has made great progress in building an interconnected world, we should never forget that there are still more than 3.8 billion people who are offline—many of whom are Americans—and over one billion people without mobile broadband coverage. To be better connected is a relentless pursuit of humankind; no one should put more obstacles in the way.