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Huawei's founder says world can't live without it

The normally media-shy Huawei founder has been forced to step into the limelight in recent months as the company has come under increasing pressure over espionage concerns and the US-led campaign to persuade other countries to ban its technology.

FILE: Huawei Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei gestures as he attends a session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on 22 January 2015 in Davos. Picture: AFP

BEIJING - The founder of Chinese telecom giant Huawei has hit back at US efforts to blacklist the company, saying defiantly that the world cannot do without Huawei and its "more advanced" technology.

"There's no way the US can crush us," Ren Zhengfei said in an interview with the BBC.

"The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced."

Ren, 74, also denounced as "politically motivated" the December arrest of his daughter, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is accused of violating US sanctions against Iran.

"We object to this," he said.

"But now that we've gone down this path, we'll let the courts settle it."

The normally media-shy Huawei founder has been forced to step into the limelight in recent months as the company has come under increasing pressure over espionage concerns and the US-led campaign to persuade other countries to ban its technology.

Last year, security concerns prompted Australia to ban Huawei equipment from its future 5G network.

New Zealand has also blocked its largest telecom carrier from using Huawei technology for the next generation network, while the Czech Republic has reportedly excluded it from a 20-million-euro ($22 million) tender to build a tax portal.

US prosecutors also are charging Huawei with stealing trade secrets, saying it offered rewards to employees for stealing technology from other rivals.

Ren shrugged off the growing pressure.

"If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine," he said. "America doesn't represent the world."

"Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always downsize and become smaller."

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