|Huawei Has a Plan to Help End Its War With Trump During a rare interview, the company’s chief executive proposed negotiations with the Justice Department.|
By Thomas L. Friedman Opinion Columnist Sept. 10, 2019
nytimes.com After a week of interviews in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, I’ve come away with some strong feelings about the United States-China trade dispute. There are two battlefronts: One is the negotiation to eliminate the barriers to American companies competing in China, and the other is what to do about Huawei, China’s enormous telecom networking company that Beijing sees as a crown jewel of national innovation and the Trump team sees as a giant global espionage device.
<> That is why I was happy to accept the invitation of Huawei’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, to come to his company’s headquarters in Shenzhen for a rare interview, which he used to — for the first time — propose negotiations with the Justice Department to try to resolve all the outstanding issues between Washington and Huawei.
<> Ren told me: “If the U.S. reaches out to us in good faith and promises to change their irrational approach to Huawei, then we are open to a dialogue. The U.S. shouldn’t try to destroy Huawei over something trivial. If the U.S. feels we have done something wrong, then we can discuss it in good faith and find a reasonable solution. I think we can accept that approach."
He added for emphasis, “There are no restrictions on what we would be willing to discuss with the Department of Justice.”
And if the United States — which has no indigenous 5G networking manufacturer — still does not trust Huawei to install its equipment across America at scale, added Ren, then he is also ready, for the first time, to license the entire Huawei 5G platform to any American company that wants to manufacturer it and install it and operate it, completely independent of Huawei.