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Huawei chief offers to sell 5G know-how

Huawei’s chief executive Ren Zhengfei offered to sell its current 5G know-how to a Western firm in order to address security concerns about its business.

According to a report by BBC, Zhengfei said that the buyer would be free to “change the software code” that would allow any flaws or supposed backdoors to be addressed without the Chinese company’s involvement.

Zhengfei made the proposal in his interviews with the Economist and the New York Times, saying: “[Huawei is] open to sharing our 5G technologies and techniques with US companies, so that they can build up their own 5G industry.”

“This would create a balanced situation between China, the US and Europe,” he added.

The proposal reportedly include ongoing access to the firm’s existing 5G patents, licences, code, technical blueprints and production engineering knowledge.

Soas University of London professor Steve Tsang said regarding Huawei’s offer: “Perhaps the explanation is that Huawei recognises that it is unlikely to be able to bypass the efforts the Trump administration is putting into minimising its scope to operate in North America, Western Europe and Australasia.

“But it’s difficult to see Nokia or Ericsson being interested in buying it. And it’s also difficult to see how an American company would be able to reassure the Trump administration that it’s absolutely top notch American technology.

“And if they can’t do that, why would they want to spend tens of billions of US dollars on something that will quickly become out-of-date.”

A spokesman for Huawei has confirmed that the quotes mentioned in reports during Zhengfei’s interview are accurate and that the idea represents a “genuine proposal.”

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