Huawei founder doesn’t want iPhones banned in China

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Chinese company Huawei wants the media buzz that would come with releasing the world's first foldable phone.
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is a self-admitted Apple fan.
Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr CC

Huawei may be competing with Apple in the smartphone industry, but Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has said that he would be “the first to protest” if China was to consider banning the iPhone in the country.

This comes after the U.S. placed a ban on Huawei products. This prompted concerns that China could retaliate and ban an American tech giant, such as Apple.

Speaking with Bloomberg via translator, Zhengfei addressed the issue of whether Beijing should ban Apple devices.

“That will not happen,” Zhengfei said. “If that happens, I’ll be the first to protest. Apple is the world’s leading company. If there was no Apple, there would be no mobile internet. If there was no Apple to help show us the world, we would not see the beauty of this world. Apple is my teacher – it’s advancing in front of us. As a student, why should I oppose my teacher? I would never do that.”

Zhengfei has previously admitted to being a big Apple fan, and has said he still buys iPhones for himself and his family. Last year, when his daughter Meng Wanzhou — Huawei’s CFO — was arrested in Canada, she was carrying an iPhone, MacBook, and iPad.

In his Bloomberg interview, Zhengfei also addressed the challenges to Huawei’s business posed by the recent U.S. developments. “Of the chips we’ve been using, half are from U.S. companies and half we produce ourselves,” he said. “If the U.S. imposes further restrictions on us, we’ll reduce our purchases from the U.S. and use more of our own chips.”

He said that, while there would be short-term problems, “once all the holes” are plugged, Huawei will return to its world-beating status.

Huawei last year made headlines when it overtook Apple overall smartphone sales.