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Huawei Doesn’t Spy for the Chinese, Says Founder Ren Zhengfei

Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei, says that his company’s technology is not used for Chinese state spying.

In a rare media appearance in Shenzhen on Tuesday, Ren said his company has “never received any request from any government to provide improper information.” He also called for the release of his daughter and Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested last month in Canada and faces extradition to the U.S. on allegations that the company sold U.S.-made equipment to Iran.

Meng’s arrest has raised tensions between Canada and China. Two Canadians have since been arrested in China and another has been sentenced to death. Meng is now released on bail pending an extradition hearing.

Suspicions about Huawei’s ties with the Chinese government has also caused concern around the world. The U.K, Australia, and New Zealand are among the countries that are intentionally excluding Huawei from the construction of new 5G networks. Poland recently arrested a Huawei employee on suspicion of espionage and is now considering a ban on the use of Huawei products.

Meeting with foreign reporters at Huawei’s headquarters, Ren played down the impact of exclusion from these national markets but added that it could have a long-term impact on global connectivity, causing a “split” between networks built with Chinese technology and those built without it.