Huawei warns against ‘Berlin Wall’ in digital world

Huawei Technologies Co criticized recent restrictions imposed on the Chinese tech company and warned that there should not be a Berlin Wall in the global digital world.

Hu Houkun, rotating chairman of Huawei, said in a speech at the Potsdam Conference on National Cybersecurity (Germany) on Thursday that “in recent days, restrictions, based on unfounded allegations, have been imposed on Huawei in order to disrupt our business operations. We believe this behavior is totally unjustified.”

According to him, in Europe, approximately three-quarters of smartphone users rely on an Android-based phone. Huawei accounts roughly for 20 percent of this market. Such reckless decisions can cause a great deal of harm to consumers and businesses in Europe.

His comments came after the US imposed a ban on Huawei’s access to US technologies without special government approval earlier this month. Later, Google said it had restricted Huawei from accessing updates for its Android operating system and some mobile apps.

“This sets a dangerous precedent. It goes against the values of the international business community, cuts off the global supply chain and disrupts fair competition in the market. This could happen to any other industry and company in the future if we don’t jointly confront these issues,” Hu said.

“I am honored to speak at this beautiful campus of the University of Potsdam. When I arrived earlier, I was told that we are at a historic site where the Berlin Wall once stood. This reminded me of the fact that we don’t want to see another wall and we don’t want to go through another painful experience,” he added.

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“Equally, we don’t want to build a new wall in terms of trade, and we don’t want to build a new wall in terms of technology either. We need an integrated global ecosystem which can help us to promote faster technological innovation and stronger economic growth. Ultimately, it is what we have to rely on in order to maintain prosperity for human society,” Hu said.

Huawei is facing a crackdown from the US government, which accuses it of posing a national security risk. The Shenzhen-based company repeatedly denied the accusation and said these charges were not supported by factual evidence.

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