On the afternoon of March 5, 2019, Chen Lifang, Huawei's director and senior vice president, received an interview with CBC reporters. The following is the full interview:
Meng Wanzhou is very strong and optimistic.
1. Reporter: I want to ask a case that Canadians are very concerned about, that is, Meng Wanzhou's case. Were you surprised when she was arrested?
I also admire her professional ability. She led the financial management reform of Huawei, making Huawei have excellent management practice in resource allocation, process optimization, operation efficiency and internal control construction. I believe that evening boat will definitely be one of the best CFOs in any of the top 100 companies in the world.
Suddenly she met with such a thing, and I was particularly distressed by her. When she was detained at Vancouver Airport, her personal rights were violated illegally. But Meng was particularly strong and optimistic. It also infected me and my colleagues, will not let themselves into emotions, will face objectively. On the one hand, we are opposed to the U.S. government doing this, arresting executives on the basis of corporate charges, which is too rare. On the other hand, we must treat it objectively and rationally, and rely on the law to solve this problem. Such an act by the United States Government is an abuse of judicial proceedings. We still believe that the Canadian government is confident, impartial and independent, and that the Canadian judicial system must be open, transparent, fair and impartial.
2. Reporter: It seems that you have more confidence than the Chinese government. Why? You said that you believe more in the fairness and transparency of the Canadian judicial system, which sounds more confident than the Chinese government in Canadian justice.
Chen Lifang: I haven't compared. Do you think I'm more confident?
Reporter: The Chinese government said that this incident was affected by politics. It also said that judicial independence seems impossible to achieve in Canada. It sounds like you still have great confidence in the judicial system of Canada. Why?
Chen Lifang: I also think it's politically driven. Because President Trump himself and Canadian diplomats did. Their words show that the case is politically driven. Besides, who else can we trust in Canada besides the law? We certainly believe that the Court will be able to make a fair decision in the end.
3. Reporter: Back to the Meng Wanzhou case, as you said just now, you will take an objective and rational attitude to deal with and think about what happened and what to do next. Can you really be so objective and rational? It sounds like there are a lot of personal feelings in it.
Reporter: Do you have a chance to talk to her after her arrest?
Chen Lifang: We have some calls, but not very many. During the conversation, she felt very strong and optimistic. I didn't ask her why she could do it. I admire her very much.
Reporter: So, based on your understanding of her, do you think she has the will to tide over the difficulties?
Chen Lifang: We must have this confidence.
4.Reporter: Do you think she was used as scapegoat? And do you think she was used not because she did something wrong, but because she was special??
Chen Lifang: I know the character of the late boat very well. I believe she didn't miss anything. I don't know if it's taken hostage, but President Trump said something similar.
You may also notice that Meng Wanzhou commissioned her lawyer to file civil lawsuits against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Border Service and the Canadian Government the day before yesterday. I highly appreciate and admire her practice of protecting her basic rights through legal means.
5. Reporter: Do you want to tell the Canadian government about Meng's evening boat?
Hua5G is also Canada's Homemade 5G
6. Reporter: Ask a question about 5G. What is the special feature of Huawei in 5G? Not only does Hua say that for himself, but also for the outside world. Huawei seems to have become the pronoun of 5G network. Why is that? Why is Huawei's 5G technology so special?
Chen Lifang: Huawei has invested more than $2 billion in research and development of 5G since 2009. It has more than 2,500 patents, more than 30 commercial contracts worldwide, and has issued more than 40,000 base stations.
Maybe these numbers sound a bit boring. I can give you an example, for example, many operators say that choosing Huawei can save costs. How to save? In fact, it is technological innovation. Hua5G's base station is extremely light in weight and small in size. It only needs one person to install it manually. No more people need to hire cranes, and no road closure is needed. We estimated that every installation of a 5G base station in Canada would save $10,000 in cost.
In addition, why is 5G safer? We found some risky scenarios when using 3G and 4G, so we consciously worked on standards and technology at the beginning of 5G research and development. For example, data is encrypted during transmission, which can even resist future quantum computer attacks. For example, we also need to encrypt and protect the user's personal data, which can effectively protect the pseudobase station or illegally intercept the user's location information.
Consumers may also say, why must we use new technology? Because new technologies give people a better use experience. For example, downloading pictures will be clearer, downloading faster, and using VR will not feel dizzy. In addition, in some extreme work scenarios, the use of 5G technology can also avoid personal danger, people just need to do some remote control to complete the work.
In fact, Hua5G has a lot to do with Canada. Although Huawei's 5G R&D is deployed in Germany, Britain, Canada and many other places, two of our R&D team leaders happen to be Canadian Ph.D. One of them is Dr. Wen Tong and the other is Dr. Ju Peiying. So my Canadian colleagues often tell me that Hua5G is the Homemade 5G of Canada.
We not only developed 5G R&D in Canada at the earliest time, but also developed solutions specifically for Canadian characteristics. For example, in the northern region, if the traditional satellite is used, the network quality and signal are poor; if the optical fiber is used, the cost is too high; therefore, we propose 5G air optical fiber, which can provide high-quality, high-quality home broadband service (WTTX), the cost is only one third of other schemes. Of course, this solution not only adapts to Canada, but also to various remote areas, as well as developed regions with large area and small population.
The United States underestimated Huawei's will to unite and overestimated its influence.
7. Reporter: I know Huawei has invested a lot in technology research and development. For example, as mentioned earlier, when many people have not thought of 5G, Huawei has been at the forefront of research on 5G. My problem is that some operators and countries are now under pressure not to use Huawei equipment. If these countries or these people finally decide not to use Huawei equipment, what impact will this have on Huawei's business?
Chen Lifang: Now mainly the U.S. government has taken a series of actions, which have greatly interfered with Huawei's normal business operation. Such actions are rare globally. However, up to now, Huawei has the largest number of 5G commercial contracts in the world, and its 5G deployment and technology maturity are also the most advanced. I believe everyone wants to deploy and use the most advanced technology as soon as possible. Every country, whether government or enterprise or consumer, must make a choice based on their own interests. So I'm not particularly worried.
8. Reporter: But the United States, Australia and other countries and regions have decided to exclude Huawei equipment. Don't you think it's a risk?
Chen Lifang: Actually, only the United States and Australia are making decisions now. But the situation in other countries, including Canada, is different. There are 3 billion people using our products and services worldwide. We have a good safety record for 30 years.
Operators we work with have decades of professional experience, and they will definitely choose the most suitable, safe and advanced equipment supplier. I believe they will continue to choose Huawei. Therefore, I am not particularly worried about your problem.
Chen Lifang: I'm not afraid of that, although the actions of the U.S. government are really rare. My view is this: the United States may have underestimated Huawei's will to unite, but also underestimated the judgment of other governments, businesses and the people themselves. The United States has not come up with facts, but has used some ideas and guesses to influence public opinion. I don't think its influence is as strong as it thinks.
You mentioned Canada. Huawei currently employs about 1100 people in Canada and plans to add 200 jobs in 2019. In addition to providing online products and services, Huawei has also invested heavily in research and development in Canada. Over the past decade, Huawei has invested a total of $500 million in research and development in Canada. Of these, US$137 million was invested in 2018 alone. We also support research projects at Canadian universities.
We have worked with Telus and Bell for more than 10 years, and have adopted a government-led security review mechanism (SRP) to ensure the security of wireless networks used by Canadian citizens. The function of this security mechanism is to ensure that Canadians have access to secure networks. For the future, we will continue to abide by this commitment.
What you just said is very good. If we regard network security as a technical problem, it is very simple and very good to solve.
10. Reporter: Why are they so afraid of Huawei?
Chen Lifang: I don't know why the US government is afraid of such a small company. Is a company afraid of good technology? It seems that this logic is not very valid. Just as NBA league teams are mainly American teams, Toronto Raptors can also play very well. There can be American companies, European companies and Canadian companies in the high-tech industry. Can't there be a Chinese company?
11. Reporter: Now a specific issue pointed out by the US government and other countries is Huawei's relationship with the Chinese government. They fear that Huawei's close relationship with the Chinese government will be influenced by the Chinese government and the Communist Party of China. They also specifically pointed out China's Intelligence Law, which is said to force Huawei to hand over information transmitted by Huawei on the Internet. How do you respond to that statement?
Chen Lifang: I've read all the points you said. I also understand these concerns. Like the first time I read about the Cloud Act in the United States and the A A Act in Australia. These laws require enterprises to install backdoors and collect data and information from other countries, which I am particularly shocked and worried about.
Huawei's approach is that we can make a legally valid commitment from the founder to every employee. In any case, we reject any government's request to install backdoors and collect data and intelligence. That's our attitude.
Chen Lifang: I just talked about attitude, and then I talked about action. First of all, we must build our own network security capabilities. Last month, for example, we announced our initial $2 billion investment to enhance our software engineering capabilities, security and trustworthiness.
In addition, higher standards and transparent third-party verification are needed for network security capabilities and levels. Huawei has withstood rigorous tests like SRP in Canada, OB in Britain and Bonn Test Center in Germany. These are government-led testing and certification. Huawei has also participated in independent third-party evaluations, such as Cigital in the United States. Among the companies assessed together, Huawei has 12 items that are better than the industry average, and 9 of them reach the highest level in the industry.
As for the Chinese law you mentioned, we have consulted legal experts to make a serious assessment, and the Chinese government has clarified the law many times. For example, Yang Jiechi, director of the Central Foreign Affairs Office, made a special clarification at the Munich Security Summit in Germany. In addition, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has clarified it twice. Two days ago, the spokesman of the NPC made it clear once again that China had no law requiring enterprises to install backdoors and that China had no law requiring enterprises to collect information and intelligence from other countries.
Huawei has not received such requests from the Chinese government in the past. In the future, even if it receives requests from the Chinese government or other governments, Huawei will refuse them. Nothing can be done.
13. Reporter: Many experts have interpreted China's Intelligence Law. They feel that although China's Intelligence Law is vague, it seems unclear whether individuals and companies need to hand over data and information. But in fact, no matter what the outside world interprets, the Chinese government seems to be asking businesses and individuals to do so. The question I want to ask is, if this happens, how can Huawei refuse such a request? For example, other companies and other CEOs have failed to refuse the government's request on some other matters. How can Huawei do that?
Here, I also want to make a note that Huawei is only a device provider, the operation of the network and the management of customer data are the responsibility of the telecommunications operators. In a popular analogy, network security is like a winning hockey team. Ice hockey can't be a one-man battle. It requires the cooperation of wingers, centers, defenders and goalkeepers, and they must obey the common rules together to win. No matter how good a player is in one position, he can't replace the whole team's cooperation. Network security is the same. Network security is not just a matter of a company or a role. It requires the ecological collaboration of the government, equipment manufacturers, operators and users. No role can play such a big role, nor does it do so much harm.
14. Reporter: You use ice hockey as a metaphor. You must be Canadian, right?
For example, Huawei spent $15 billion on R&D last year, ranking fifth in the global corporate R&D expenditure. Our ideal is to connect the whole world. We have done it in many places. I think we are very cool. Huawei is most proud of doing many things that other companies are unwilling to do, such as building networks in hard areas and ensuring communications in times of disaster. Every Huawei strives for a better life for itself and a common ideal.
Invite American media to visit and get to know the real Huawei
15. Reporter: Just now, when we talked about Huawei's business operation, the United States has made legal accusations that Huawei employees have stolen business secrets from other companies. How do you respond to this accusation?
Chen Lifang: Huawei has issued a statement denying the allegations made by the U.S. government. We also believe that the court's final hearing will reach the same conclusion. Because the case has entered the judicial process, I can not easily open the details one by one. In short, the actions of the US government have done great damage to Huawei's reputation, and we will take action to protect our reputation, including the necessary legal measures.
For example, last week I wrote an open letter to the American media inviting you to visit Huawei. All Huawei executives are willing to answer any questions from the media. They will also open R&D laboratories and technical conferences for you to see. I hope that the media, professionals, audiences, readers or listeners can make a comparison for themselves to see which is the real Huawei and whose technology is more advanced.
16. Reporter: What action would Huawei take if employees were found doing these things or involved in similar things? For example, after the recent exposures of these cases, does the company re-educate its employees in terms of corporate policies? Or is it a strong fight against this kind of behavior?
Chen Lifang: Huawei has a very clear policy in this regard, as well as relevant processes and education and training for its employees. If any individual employee violates these rules, Huawei will never hesitate to take resolute measures, which we have been doing since the past.
17. Reporter: After these cases were charged, did the company reiterate such information to its employees? If you don't understand, the company will reiterate that you are not allowed to steal business secrets from other companies.
Chen Lifang: It's not just to reiterate that it has nothing to do with whether something happened or not. We will regularly educate and train our employees repeatedly.
Reporter: Thank you!