Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (華為) plans to shift a research center from the US to Canada, founder Ren Zhengfei (任正非) said in an interview with Canada’s Globe and Mail.
Ren’s remarks came after Reuters on Friday last week reported that the US is weighing expanding its power to stop more foreign shipments of products with US technology to Huawei.
The US Department of Commerce in May placed Huawei on a trade blacklist, citing national security concerns.
Huawei’s “center for research and development will be moved out of the United States, and that will be relocated to Canada,” Ren told the newspaper, adding that the company would also manufacture some mobile network equipment outside of China.
The Huawei founder wants to build new factory capacity in Europe to make 5G networking equipment, hoping to assuage fears stemming from US allegations that its products could be used by China for spying, the newspaper said.
Huawei was not immediately available to comment on Ren’s interview when contacted by reporters. The firm has previously denied it is a risk to US national security.
The company last year spent US$510 million on operations at its US research arm, the newspaper said, adding that it has now trimmed the arm’s workforce by 600 to about 250.
Separately, Ren’s daughter and Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟), who was arrested by Canadian police on a US warrant late last year, is fighting extradition to the US on charges of breaching sanctions against Iran.
She is out on bail.
Huawei has denied the charges and China has urged Canada to release her.
Commenting on her case, Ren said that it is an example of “obvious political interference from the US.”
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