Following two arrests of Huawei employees in Canada and Poland, the firm’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, has said that the firm does not spy for the Chinese Government. The employee arrested in Canada, Meng Wanzhou, is, in fact, Ren’s daughter who is now facing extradition to the U.S. over claims she violated sanctions on Iran. Another worker in Poland was fired by Huawei after he was arrested on espionage charges.
In an interview, Ren is reported to have said that Huawei has “never received any request from any government to provide improper information” and claimed that he supports China and the Communist party, but that he would "never do anything to harm any country in the world.” Ren insisted that there were no Chinese laws that required Huawei to install mandatory backdoors that could be utilised for spying and that the firm hadn’t encountered any serious security incidents from a third party.
With regards to the U.S. asking allies to end contracts with Huawei, Ren said “It’s always been the case, you can’t work with everyone ... we’ll shift our focus to better serve countries that welcome Huawei.”
The arrest of Ren’s daughter has been seen as a political move by President Trump in order to gain an advantage in trade talks with China. Last month, Trump told reporters that he was willing to intervene with the Justice Department in Meng’s case if it would help secure a new trade deal with the Asian nation.