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Huawei chief gives first interview in 26-year tenure

Ren Zhengfei speaks out on cyber-security, US accusations, future growth

Huawei chief gives first interview in 26-year tenure
Ren: Huawei equipment is almost non-existent in networks currently running in the US.

After 26 years at the helm of China-based Huawei, the company's CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei has given his first ever press briefing outlining Huawei's business ambitions including addressing global cyber security challenges.

The briefing follows recent comments from the CEO that none of his family will be the next CEO of the company, and that Huawei will not go public in the next five to 10 years. During the session, Ren also highlighted the importance of addressing the global ICT challenge of cyber-security.

"As a leading global company, Huawei attaches great importance [to] cyber-security," he said. "Cyber-security is a significant challenge facing our industry globally today. The solution must involve governments, telecommunications operators and ICT companies, including Huawei and our peers, as well as end users coming together to take collaborative, solutions-oriented, multi-lateral approaches to mitigate the risk."

When facing the challenge of US network security, where concerns raised by lawmakers have prevented Huawei from doing expanded business, Ren said: "Huawei equipment is almost non-existent in networks currently running in the US. We have never sold any key equipment to major US carriers, nor have we sold any equipment to any US government agency. Huawei has no connection to the cyber security issues the US has encountered in the past, current and future."

The follows Huawei's recent efforts to make more executives available to the media, including when the company released its 2012 annual report last month and two of its most senior executives hosted a roundtable with reporters.

Within the Middle East, Huawei has over a decade of regional dealings and has maintained double-digit revenue growth in recent years. Rapid growth in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) during 2012 contributed to record Huawei regional sales revenue of $12.42bn, an increase of 6.1% year on year.

The company has worked with a number of telecom operators in the region deploying infrastructure, including LTE commercial networks in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The company is also linked with additional operators in Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain on other LTE mobile broadband projects.

Ren's briefing was held as part of a commemoration ceremony for a new agreement in which Huawei was selected to build an expansive new 4G LTE network for service provider Telecom New Zealand.

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