Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei made a rare public appearance on Thursday to deny allegations that his company’s telecommunications equipment poses a threat to U.S. national security. According to Reuters, it was the first time in more than 25 years that the executive has spoken with the media. It has been alleged that Huawei is in cahoots with the Chinese government, which has left countries such as the U.S., Canada and Australia hesitant to use the company’s equipment.
Zhenfei said that Huawei has “no connection to the cyber-security issues the U.S. has encountered in the past, current and future,” noting that his company’s equipment is rarely used on U.S. networks. “We have never sold any key equipment to major U.S. carriers, nor have we sold any equipment to any U.S. government agency,” he said.
The fears over the company’s products have hurt Huawei’s goals of expanding into bigger markets. The firm is currently the second largest provider of telecom equipment and fifth largest smartphone vendor in the world, however its products are rarely found in Western countries.