US trade ban 'hurts America more than Huawei': Huawei executive

Huawei has been "incredibly successful without signficant penetration of the largest market in the world, the US", a senior executive at Huawei's US branch said. PHOTO: AP

BUDAPEST(AFP) - A senior executive at beleaguered Chinese telecoms giant Huawei said on Tuesday (Sept 10) that Washington's trade ban on its products hits the US economy more than the company.

"America needs Huawei more than Huawei needs America," Andy Purdy, head of security at Huawei's US branch, told reporters at a telecommunications industry conference in Budapest.

Huawei - considered the world leader in high-speed 5G equipment and the No. 2 smartphone producer - was swept into a deepening trade war between Beijing and Washington that has resulted in punitive tariffs being slapped on hundreds of billions of dollars of two-way trade.

"If we cannot buy from American companies it is going to hurt America in a very substantial way," said Purdy.

"Thirty percent of the components of our global products come from America... those companies are going to lose potentially directly 40,000 American jobs," he claimed.

Meanwhile, Huawei has been "incredibly successful without signficant penetration of the largest market in the world, the US", the executive said.

Washington fears that Huawei will provide Beijing with a way to spy on communications from countries that use its products and services.

In August, the US Commerce Department effectively suspended for a second time tough rules stopping the sale of components and services to the Chinese telecoms titan and a ban on buying equipment from it.

However, the Commerce Department also said it would add 46 more companies to its list of Huawei subsidiaries and affiliates that would be covered by the ban if it is implemented in full - taking the total on the list to more than 100.

Purdy said there must be "scrutiny for everybody" and that the global tech sector must set agreed "objective and transparent" standards "to know what equipment is worthy of trust".

"There has to be trust through verification, because malicious actors can hack through everybody's products," he noted.

There was "no evidence of wrongdoing by Huawei", the executive said.

"We should be treated based on facts and real risks, based on evidence" to show the company is not subjected to "undue influence" from Bejing, he concluded.

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