So far silent Huawei has taken advantage of the Huawei Global Analyst Summit to speak out about US restrictions. Reassuringly, the smartphone and telecommunications giant believes that this "arbitrary and pernicious" policy will ultimately harm "the interests of the Americans".
Will 2020 be like 2019 for Huawei? The American government seems in any case determined to put a stick in the wheels of the world number 2 of smartphones. Last week, the Trump administration extended the decree banning Huawei from collaborating with American companies. Yesterday, we learned that the founder TSMC stopped the production of chips on behalf of the Chinese manufacturer. Two hard knocks that quickly reacted the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs promising reprisals including against Apple or Qualcomm.
Discreet until now, Huawei has taken advantage of the Huawei Global Analyst Summit (conference bringing together an audience of analysts from around the world) to speak about these new American restrictions. The Chinese wants to be both reassuring about its future and worrying about that of the market. As a symbol, the theme of the inauguration was titled "Collaborate for a harmonious information and communication technology industry". It is not invented.
"Ultimately it will hurt the interests of the Americans"
Huawei readily recognizes this: 2019 was a very complicated year and things are not going to get better in the months to come. But there is no question for the telecommunications giant to let itself down. "The good news is that we are still alive" reassures Guo Ping, president of Huawei.
More offensive, he recalls that politics "Arbitrary and pernicious" of the Trump administration will have a "Impact on network expansion, maintenance and operations" from 170 countries where Huawei’s telecom equipment is used by 3 billion people. "More splits do not benefit anyone", he adds.
To support his point, he recalled that in the past, American telecom equipment manufacturers had not succeeded in meeting the very heterogeneous demand of operators, the fault of a lack of harmonization. "There is no American alternative to Huawei" insists Guo Ping. As proof, the European network relying in part on Chinese equipment is based on unified standards. This has allowed OEMs to remain competitive, says Huawei. "Ultimately it will hurt the interests of the Americans" concludes Guo Ping.
Huawei is still concerned about the snowball effect. The distrust of the American authorities is starting to touch other countries which distance themselves from the Chinese supplier. The ball is in the court of politics, said the Chinese manufacturer. He relies on this for an interview with Emmanuel Macron at The Economist in which he explained that each government should now intervene to choose the suppliers of operators to ensure the security of communications.
In France, the government has chosen to trust Huawei in the same way as another equipment manufacturer. But all is not so simple. SFR and Bouygues Telecom – which rely on Huawei for the deployment of their 5G network – explained a few weeks ago that Anssi was dragging file validations including technologies from the Chinese equipment supplier.
Huawei knows this, the months to come will be even more complicated. But Guo Ping assures that the company will be able to face this crisis. "We are confident in our ability to keep this plane in the air", he concludes.