Huawei Technologies Co.’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei said there have been no direct talks between the firm and any U.S. company since his offer to license the Chinese giant’s full portfolio of fifth-generation network technology.
His comment contradicts earlier reports that the Chinese telecom gear giant is in talks with potential buyers on a sale.
“There are no American companies talking to us,” Ren told a panel in Shenzhen moderated by Bloomberg Television. “Because it’s a very big and difficult decision to make, the big companies need to consider it seriously,” he said. Should a buyer appear, investment banks may be called in to facilitate a deal, he added.
In September, Ren said Huawei is ready to license its 5G technology, including chip designs, hardware and source code, to a single, exclusive licensee. That should be a U.S. company because Europe is home to close competitors like Nokia Oyj and Ericsson AB and doesn’t need help to compete, he added.
Huawei, accused by Donald Trump’s administration of aiding Beijing in spying while spearheading China’s tech-superpower ambitions, is trying to claw back business and shore up trust in its products. The company has repeatedly denied such allegations.
The world’s second-largest smartphone maker is expecting its 2019 smartphone shipments to jump as much as 21% to 250 million units, defying a U.S. export ban that cuts Huawei off from key American components.