December 11, 2019
01 Pablo Díaz, ABC: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to ask the first question. Mr. Ren, my question is about the Chinese government. How can you make it clearer to the public that the Chinese government does not interfere with Huawei? Would going public be a good solution? I also wonder, in an environment like China, how you can ensure a company operates independently.
Ren: If going public is a good way to address this problem, why do Wall Street firms often collapse? Huawei was founded in China, so of course, we follow the law here. In addition though, we abide by laws of all other countries and regions where we operate. That is to say, we are committed to complying with all applicable laws, including international law. The basis for judging whether Huawei is a great company should be the actions we take and the results we deliver, rather than whether we have gone public or not.
Pablo Díaz, ABC: The second part of my question: Is it possible for a company to operate independently from the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party?
Ren: The answer is yes. China has laws that guarantee this. Within the boundaries of the law, private firms operate independently, with clear-cut ownership.
02 Natacha Carla Esquivel, Clarín: I am a journalist from Argentina. My question is about my country. As far as I know, Huawei has chosen Argentina as the first among all overseas offices to pilot a new program. Why Argentina? Is it because my country has experienced financial turmoil, such as the recent currency devaluation and high inflation?
Ren: Why did we choose Argentina as the country to pilot our Contract Reviews and Conclusions at Representative Offices program?
First, the former president of our Latin America Regional Office first piloted this program in Argentina, and the current president suggested that we continue with the pilot there. Argentina is facing many challenges during this pilot period. We believe that if our transformation can stand the test of such a complicated economic environment, its success will be even more convincing. That’s why we have sustained such efforts in Argentina. Today, we can say this pilot program has been successful. We have started duplicating the practices of the Argentina pilot in over 20 countries around the world.
Second, I myself am a big fan of Argentina. Of course, this is not just because of your tango dancing. Your beef is also amazing. Your barbecue is so delicious that I would want to go to Argentina just to eat. Looking forward, I hope Argentina can further open its doors and strengthen its cooperation with China. China is in need of Argentina’s beef, soybeans, and many other great things. Selling more of these things to China will facilitate the economic development of both countries.
I have been to several private farms in Argentina. I have often tried to talk the Chinese government into adopting your approaches to managing private farms. In China, we also have cattle raisers, but we call them herdsmen. Meanwhile, cattle ranchers in Argentina are doing scientific research. They have labs on their own farms to work on cattle embryos and even some genetic technology. This is modern farming. If China wants to further develop its rural areas, we must allow these areas to work with agricultural research institutions. We have so much to learn from Argentina.
Your country is at the end of the world and is geographically secure. Even if there is a great war in the rest of the world, Argentina will be safe and sound. You should invest more of your national wealth into education, healthcare, and research of other areas. During World War II, Argentina made a significant contribution to the world. Argentina provided woolen coats and beef to tens of millions of anti-Fascist soldiers, helping them secure victory. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world. I look forward to seeing your country restoring prosperity.
03 Javier García, EFE: Good afternoon, Mr. Ren. Thank you for taking the time to meet with us. I’m from Spain. I don’t know whether you are impressed by Spain in the same way as you are by Argentina. Many Spanish carriers are using Huawei’s equipment and have signed 5G contracts with Huawei. Vodafone is a prime example of this. However, we’ve learned recently that Spain’s Ministry of Defense has recommended their employees not use Huawei’s equipment in office areas, effectively banning Huawei’s equipment from many public offices. Does this mean Spain no longer trusts Huawei like they used to? What are the reasons behind this?
Ren: First of all, we have not been banned by the Ministry of Defense, nor have we received any such notice from them or any other public institutions in Spain. We will continue to provide high-quality services to all of our customers in Spain.
Second, Spain is a great country. It played an instrumental role in ushering in the Age of Exploration and discovering the New World. The world was divided into the Western Hemisphere and Eastern Hemisphere when Spain and Portugal set forth to build their empires. Spain’s rise to power is a key part of world history, and something we all study. Despite the dangers, you used wooden sailboats to explore new sailing routes around the world. Records show a total of 3.5 million boats were capsized between Europe and Asia during that period, with the majority of them from Spain. Your spirit of dedication is something we strive to emulate.
Spain has adopted Huawei’s 5G equipment, which may be the most advanced 5G technology in the world. Our “boat” will not be easily capsized, and will help bring Spanish civilization to the rest of the world. What future will 5G create for humanity? 5G will mainly be used to power AI, which will enable unmanned farms and remotely operated mines and ports. This could help, say, bring Spanish pork to the Chinese market on a large scale, improving bilateral trade. Spain is also an education powerhouse, and is well poised to help develop the education sector in China. This would not require the investment of large amounts of resources, but could generate good economic returns that would improve the trade deficits between China and Spain.
Huawei attends the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona every year, and we have always received excellent service while in Spain. At the event, we often host customers at La Pedrera. After getting out of the car, we need to walk about 20 meters to reach La Pedrera. Along the way, we receive elegant services, allowing us to enjoy the embodiment of Spain’s glamor from the past century.
After returning from Spain to China, I often say that even though China is on track to become a wealthy nation, it will take us dozens of years to catch up to Spain’s glamor. I think China and Spain should leverage each other’s strengths to enhance friendship and create a new mixed culture.
Javier García, EFE: I’m still very concerned about my previous question, whether Spain has lost confidence in Huawei?
Ren: I don’t think so, because whether Spain has confidence in Huawei or not depends on what we do, not what we say. With Huawei, Spain could develop Europe’s best 5G networks.
04 Ignacio del Castillo, Expansión (Spain): Mr. Ren, we are aware that there is a lot of friction and conflict between China and the US right now regarding Huawei and technological advantages. Given the situation, many people are worried that the world may be divided into two technology camps, one dominated by China and the other by the US. Like with the Berlin Wall during the Cold War, these two digital or technology camps would be incompatible and wouldn’t understand each other. What’s your take on this?
Ren: I don’t believe the world will be split in two. The Berlin Wall existed only in an age where the physical world could be separated by a wall. We now live in an information or digital age, where physical walls mean nothing.
If the world were divided into two camps, who would suffer the most? The answer is the US. Many US companies are the most advanced in the world. If they don’t sell to some countries or regions, they will be dwindling their market scale and their financial statements will suffer. Once US companies exit the markets of these countries or regions, new players will emerge and replace them. US companies would suffer the most from a division of the world, so they certainly won’t let this happen.
In contrast, papers written by scientists are published online, which means technological innovation will still be based on the same theories and basic technological research. Meanwhile, a group of competitive companies will emerge in the business application domain. This competition would only make products better and cheaper.
With all of that in mind, I don’t believe the world will be divided into two technology camps.
05 Eladio Gonzalez Vizcarro, Expansión (Mexico): Mexico is close to reaching a new North America Free Trade Agreement with the US and Canada. However, Huawei is currently facing a very complicated situation in both the US and Canada. Will this situation affect Huawei’s business in Mexico, especially considering that important American telecom carriers like América Móvil also operate in Mexico?
Ren: I don’t believe the US’s sanctions on Huawei will affect Mexico. Over the next few decades, I think the biggest issue facing humanity will be the use of AI. Companies that adopt AI first will profit hugely and countries that adopt AI will benefit most. Therefore, developing countries should strive to strengthen basic education and improve the literacy levels of the entire nation to get ready for the future information society. For example, they can establish a large number of vocational schools to equip their people with the necessary skills for running AI companies.
It would be great if a new North America Free Trade Agreement becomes reality. The US and Canada are not a good fit for manufacturing, but Mexico is. In the future, manufacturing will be powered by AI. By that time, I believe Mexico will shine as brightly as the Mayan civilization did millennia ago.
Have you visited our production lines? Currently, our production lines are just partially powered by AI. But if you come back around this time next year, you will see hundreds of new production lines with fewer people. All of those lines will be managed by 5G. I welcome you to visit us next year. Please also feel free to bring along entrepreneurs from your country.
Eladio Gonzalez Vizcarro, Expansión (Mexico): In Mexico we have a carrier called América Móvil. Its founder was Carlos Slim. Is he one of your customers? Do you have a good relationship?
Ren: He is our customer, and I have a good relationship with him personally.
06 Lucas de la Cal, El Mundo: Recently we have seen negative comments about Huawei on Chinese social media platforms and state media websites. Do you think this will affect Huawei?
Ren: Huawei has been a hot topic over the past several months and has received a lot of positive attention. That made our image bright and colorful. Now these negative comments are adding some darker colors to the portrait, making us a bit more grey, which actually suits our current situation. Even when the general public believed that Huawei was only great before, we still had our own problems.
07 Macarena Vidal, EL PAÍS: I would like to ask something about Xinjiang. Recently we saw some news that Huawei was believed to participate in the Chinese government’s control over residents in Xinjiang. Does Huawei have some sort of management over how your products and technology will be used in the market? If Huawei’s technology was indeed used for that purpose, this could be grounds for the US government’s charges against you.
Ren: The situation is similar to say a carmaker in Spain. Can a carmaker determine who it will sell the cars to? What the carmaker sells is just the car itself. What will be put into the car is determined by the driver. The carmaker does not sell drivers, just cars.
Macarena Vidal, EL PAÍS: But I think the situation is different. As I mentioned, Huawei’s technology was not sold to an ordinary customer, but a government.
Ren: The US sells weapons to governments in the Middle East to help them deal with their problems. I think everyone can take their own look at these two approaches. Is the US’s approach better for people in the Middle East? Is China’s approach better for people in Xinjiang?
Macarena Vidal, EL PAÍS: One of the most severe criticisms of Huawei from the US government has been that they believe Huawei cannot be trusted. If Huawei was involved in selling equipment to the Chinese government to help them control residents in Xinjiang, would this be justification for the US government’s criticism?
Ren: Other industries face similar conundrums, including the automobile and arms industries. The US has no moral high ground to take in this matter.
08 Rodolfo Espinal Soria, El Peruano: Mr. Ren, how are you? I’m a journalist from Peru. I was wondering what’s Huawei’s plan for South America? Peru and China are both ancient civilizations and we are proud of our Incan culture. The two countries have also signed a free trade agreement. So what’s Huawei’s plan for the Andean states, or rather, South America as a whole?
Ren: More than a thousand years ago, China was a highly developed country. However, the last couple of centuries have seen it decline and become poor. We didn’t start recovering until the reform and opening-up policy was rolled out. What happened during those last few centuries? The UK invented the trains and steamships at a time when China still relied on horse-drawn carriages for transportation. Horse-drawn carriages were slower than trains and didn’t carry as much cargo as steamships. Europe amassed great strength in a short period of time through industrialization when China remained an underdeveloped agricultural society. When I was young, we didn’t have tractors to farm the land in China. Every rural household still relied on simple farming tools, manual labor, and livestock. We also didn’t have the high-quality seeds that Europe had. These two differences led to Europe’s rise and China’s decline.
Today’s world no longer develops along geopolitical lines. Communications networks, including 5G networks, can be developed concurrently around the world. 5G has changed the speed at which information travels. Deploying 5G is like getting people on trains and steamships. Because of this, 5G deployment will drive tremendous progress in Latin America.
I have been to Machu Picchu and was awestruck by the advancement of the Incan civilization that existed 3,500 years ago. Latin America has rich reserves of minerals, farmland, forests, and rivers. If we use AI to leverage these natural resources, Latin America will achieve even greater prosperity. The emergence of new technologies has allowed many countries to develop by leaps and bounds.
The key to achieving all of this though is promoting basic education in primary and secondary schools and improving the literacy levels of the entire nation. It is also important to develop vocational schools that aim to improve technical skills. We need to cultivate talent for the future. With your abundant resources, an amazing rejuvenation is within sight.
09 Francisco Miranda, Portafolio: Given the conflict between China and the US and the US sanctions on Huawei, your partnerships with US companies such as Google must be affected. But you have stated on multiple occasions that Huawei was fully prepared with a Plan B or a backup plan. Since I’m here, I want to hear about this plan from you first-hand. Could you give us more details about your Plan B?
Ren: Way back then we were a poor company, unlike the deep-pocketed companies in the US. You probably know how difficult it is to develop a CPU. Intel has been the most successful company in the world to do it. All other companies may find it quite a challenge to develop CPUs. But we, a poor company, managed to make our own CPUs, which was a backup move to ensure our production security. You can imagine how difficult it was! Besides CPUs, we also managed to make NPUs, GPUs, Ascend, and Kunpeng. Without almost two decades of preparation, this would not have been possible.
Currently, we can serve our customers independently without needing to rely on US supplies. That said, we are still open to working with US companies. As long as US companies can continue to supply us, we will be more than happy to use their components extensively. Self-sufficiency is not our long-term strategy. We still proactively embrace globalization.
10 Francisca Magdalena Guerrero Gatica, La Tercera: During US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Chile, he gave a speech in Santiago, our capital. He said that investments from Chinese companies in Latin America would only bring corrosive capital to the region, breed corruption, and affect their governance. Despite that, our president visited China and met with a Huawei executive in Shenzhen shortly after Pompeo’s visit to Chile. What are your thoughts on this?
Ren: Latin American has been caught in many traps, like the middle income trap, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and the financial crisis. All of these were actually caused by the US’s Monroe Doctrine. The US wanted to control Latin America and treated the region like its backyard, which caused all this. China is investing in Latin America now, but the region still maintains its sovereignty, and by investing in Latin America, China is actually building a ladder to help them out of these traps.
I think Latin America is likely to develop in a big and open way. For example, as China gradually transforms into an industrial country, it will need a lot of food, meat, cooking oil, and other agricultural products. So Latin America can export large volumes of these products to China. The land in Latin America is very fertile. Two or three decades ago when I first visited Chile, someone asked me if I planned to buy land and settle there. I was deeply impressed by its beauty, especially those big roses. So as long as Latin American countries can ramp up development and production without compromising their national sovereignty, this will be good for their economic development.
Francisca Magdalena Guerrero Gatica, La Tercera: What are your comments on our president’s reaction? In fact, he visited China and met with a Huawei executive one week after Pompeo visited Chile.
Ren: I think it’s very wise for President Pinera to propose a digital matrix program. We support every country in safeguarding its digital sovereignty. Chile is a large territory with abundant resources, but it has a small population and thus more urgently needs AI. The digital matrix proposed by the president is a platform that can support AI adoption. When choosing its development path and partners, each country considers what’s in their best interest; they don’t choose to follow some other country because of an ideology and give up on their own development plan.
Huawei follows one principle in every country where we operate: We don’t intervene in politics. As a business, we sell equipment and offer solutions, helping businesses think about how to develop better.
Let me give you an example that applies to all of Latin America. We have developed a solution called Connected Cows. With sensors on each cow, we connect cows to a network. We can monitor the best times for a cow’s milk production and notify them to return to where they get milked. This solution lets each cow produce an additional 156 yuan worth of milk every month. By leasing the devices, carriers make 20 yuan per cow per month. So we are not changing people ideologically. Instead, we are simply seeking development in areas with no ideological factors in play.
You have seen our equipment for autonomous mining. Our 5G solutions can have latency lower than five milliseconds. That means remote operations are almost the same as doing it onsite. So unmanned mines and unmanned farms will be possible in the future.
11 Mavi Doñate, TVE: Hello, Mr. Ren. Thank you very much for having us. I have a question. Do you think it is a paradox that Huawei, as a Chinese company, is leading the development of 5G while China is a country with strict controls over the Internet? We have to use VPNs to access some websites.
Ren: We are not engaged in information services. We make hardware, which is not that closely related to the Internet. This is like a highway and a car. We are building the highway, so we don’t really have much to do with what cars are on it. So, no, I don’t think this is a paradox.
Mavi Doñate, TVE: If there are no cars on the highway, isn’t it a paradox?
Ren: We believe that we should consider a country’s situation when building a highway there. For example, some developed countries like Switzerland want to promote AI adoption. This would be impossible without 5G. Since we can offer the best 5G, we can support their development. When other countries see how well these countries develop using our 5G, they will follow in their footsteps. So these developed countries can be a role model for others to follow.
12 Maria Cristina Lima Ferreira Fernandes Costa, Valor Econômico: I come from Brazil. I would like to ask you two questions. The first is about 5G. The US and Europe, especially the US, have tremendous influence on Latin America. But recently, Chinese investments have started entering Brazil and Latin America as a whole. China is now actually the biggest investor in Brazil. Next year, Brazil will hold its first round of 5G bidding. Due to the pressure from local carriers, this bidding might be delayed. I would like to ask you, Mr. Ren, what does Huawei think against this background? Considering the hostile signals that the new Brazilian administration sent to China, will it affect Huawei’s participation in Brazil’s 5G bidding? My second question is about the use of 5G in Brazil. As we know, Brazil is a very large country with unbalanced development between regions. The less developed regions urgently need 5G, but capital is a huge problem for Brazil. Would Huawei provide funds to help?
Ren: Brazil is a great country. It’s amazing that nature has provided Brazil with such incredible land. When I went to Brazil, I was really impressed by its abundant resources. Just scattering dry season rice seeds could get you 450 kg of crops. The fish bite the hooks as soon as they are lowered into the water. Nature has given Brazil amazing natural conditions, so Brazilians don’t need to worry about their food or clothing. Because of this, Brazil lacks motivation to overtake the US.
Now that 5G is arriving, Brazil will grow more rapidly. Brazil’s legal system is complicated, which is adding pressure to industry development. This is a tangible barrier that Brazilian industries face. What can digitization do for industry development? With digitization, many things can be designed in advance based on Brazilian laws. Therefore, digitization will help industries overcome numerous legal barriers in Brazil. When AI is applied, productivity will significantly improve and the workforce required will be greatly reduced. Maybe the Brazilian company Vale will only need several hundred employees in the future. That will help settle labor disputes and accelerate industry development.
Someone will ask, “If labor is not needed, what should people do?” AI will greatly increase total wealth, so the government could grow experience-based industries through the proper allocation of this wealth. For example, AI cannot replace humans when it comes to entertainment, like Samba, or sports, like football. Therefore, new technologies are very important to Brazil.
Huawei is not the only company that has new technologies. Brazil can choose to work with other vendors. New technologies will facilitate social progress and industry development, and help lift more people out of poverty.
Maria Cristina Lima Ferreira Fernandes Costa, Valor Econômico: As I just mentioned, the current Bolsonaro administration expressed its hostility toward China when it first took office. I would like to ask whether this will affect Huawei’s development in Brazil. In addition, as I said earlier, some underprivileged regions in Brazil would need 5G to develop themselves, but severely lack funding. Can Huawei provide funds to support the development of Brazil?
Ren: First, that was the president’s previous view about China at that particular stage. Once he gets to know more about our country, it is likely he will change his opinion. Second, this will not affect our development in Brazil. Underprivileged regions in Brazil should talk to local financial institutions to find solutions. Improving communications in remote areas is always a challenge for the entire world.
13 Pablo Díaz, ABC: It has been more than a year since your daughter, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver. As a father, have you been to Vancouver to see your daughter in person? Or has her arrest affected your personal travel schedule outside China?
Ren: I haven’t, but her mom is with her. This incident has not affected my travel schedule.
Pablo Díaz, ABC: Are you concerned about traveling outside China, about being detained as well?
14 Javier García, EFE: A fellow reporter just asked about China’s Internet control and censorship. Do you agree with China’s measures?
Ren: We are not an Internet company, and I haven’t done any research into this. Just like the US has banned Huawei from its market, I think every country has the sovereign right to make its own decisions.
15 Javier García, EFE: I also want to ask about the China-US trade war. We, of course, hope that China and the US can reach an agreement and end the trade war. But if no agreement can be reached, who do you think will ultimately win the trade war or tech war? We all know that Huawei is a Chinese company. If Huawei were founded in a capitalist environment, would it have grown better or worse compared to the current socialist environment?
Ren: These are hypothetical questions, so I am not in a position to answer them. I have no idea why the US and China are fighting with each other or who will win the trade war in the end. Does the one that launched this trade war regret it? Are they confident they will win? I have no idea. We barely sell in the US, so this war has nothing to do with us.
16 Francisca Magdalena Guerrero Gatica, La Tercera: I am a reporter from Chile. Now Chile is vigorously promoting interconnectivity, and it is especially keen to establish closer ties with Asia through submarine cables. Also, Chile wants to become a leader in 5G rollout in Latin America. What are your comments on this?
Ren: I’m fully convinced that Chile will achieve its ideals and objectives. Asia is a densely-populated region, which means there will be huge demand waiting. If Chile connects with Asia via submarine cables, it will be like how direct shipping cargo greatly reduces transit. This will really boost Chile’s economy. I think the President of Chile is very wise to propose a digital matrix plan.
Francisca Magdalena Guerrero Gatica, La Tercera: What role will Huawei play?
Ren: As a supplier, we proactively participate in competition. We will do our best if you choose us, and we will proactively provide the best possible service in the world.
17 Rodolfo Espinal Soria, El Peruano: I’m from Peru. Huawei is now a very successful company, and it must have achieved the ideals you had when you started this company. What drives you to lead Huawei to go further in such a complex environment?
Ren: Maybe the US’s ongoing campaign against us has given me this drive. I was prepared to retire. But the US launched a campaign against us, and it pushed me to do some work for our public relations department.
18 Macarena Vidal, EL PAÍS: I come from Spain. Just now, you said you would be willing to provide Chile with equipment and services that connect it with Asia. Some Spanish carriers, such as Telefónica, have businesses not only in Spain, but also in many Latin American countries. Would Huawei also be interested in supporting Telefónica’s effort to build 5G networks in Latin America?
Ren: First, we are very confident that we will help Spain build the best 5G network in Europe, making it a role model for other European countries. Second, we are actually already working with Telefónica in Latin America. We fully support Telefónica’s development in Latin America.
19 Eladio Gonzalez Vizcarro, Expansión (Mexico): I have two questions. The first is about Huawei’s HarmonyOS. What is the relationship between this OS and Google’s Android? Is it an alternative to Android? If Huawei is to develop the HarmonyOS, will you invite other vendors to produce devices that use this OS in the future? My other question is about the US recently extending its Temporary General License for Huawei. If one day, they decide to stop extending the license, would this have a big impact on Huawei’s device business, especially in overseas markets? Because Huawei’s smartphones are unable to use Google’s services.
Ren: First, whether or not the US extends the Temporary General License won’t impact us at all. Second, the HarmonyOS will be open source for all countries. We support SMEs in all countries to innovate on this platform. We have developed a deep learning AI cluster in the Songshan Lake area. Any country can buy this cluster and conduct self-learning and deep learning on it, through which they can build their digital sovereignty. This shows how we support countries in building their own digital sovereignty.
The industrial and capitalist revolutions over the past several centuries have helped humanity establish physical sovereignty. But now, with the creation of digital societies and digital wealth, how should we define digital sovereignty? We support the digital sovereignty of every country, and we are also exploring ways to establish such digital sovereignty.
20 Eladio Gonzalez Vizcarro, Expansión (Mexico): I think Huawei now needs to work on two areas. One is technology, where Huawei is already a leader. Despite the US sanctions, Huawei remains ahead of its competitors. The other area is politics. In this area, I believe Huawei faces big challenges, as President Trump has started a trade war and imposed sanctions on Huawei. Will Huawei change its strategy and invest more in activities such as lobbying?
Ren: We won’t change our strategy. First, Huawei has established its technology, service, and production centers for the Latin American Region in Mexico. The country will also stand out as a cloud center for our new businesses. We have established Huawei ICT academies in collaboration with more than a dozen universities in Mexico to cultivate “seeds” for the future. Over the past 10 years, we have trained more than 10,000 local ICT professionals. We also support the Mexican government’s plan to provide all the Mexican people with network connections. To this end, we are helping increase 4G and 5G coverage in Mexico and enhance the foundation of its digital economy.
Second, resolving the conflict between Huawei and the US still relies on customer trust. If we had a good relationship with the US, but our customers didn’t trust us, then this relationship would be pointless. If customers still trust us, then the US attacks will not really affect us. If the US chooses to attack us, let them do so. They may stop attacking us when they are tired.
Eladio Gonzalez Vizcarro, Expansión (Mexico): Does that mean you will not change your strategy?
Ren: No, we won’t.
21 Francisco Miranda, Portafolio: Given the current situation, will your device business become increasingly closed off? In other words, will your products and ecosystem be free of all US components, software, and applications, and become a completely independent, closed Chinese system?
Ren: That will not happen. Using in-house components is just a temporary measure because US companies are suddenly not allowed to supply us. This is an ad hoc tactic. We are still committed to embracing the most advanced civilizations of the world. Our new operating system will not just be used for smartphones; it will be used in everything from Internet of Things devices to display systems. We will never become a closed system though.
22 Lucas de la Cal, El Mundo: You are not only the founder of Huawei, but also a famous, influential figure in China. There is news that NATO recently introduced a policy that labels China as a major threat and challenge to NATO. What’s your view on this?
Ren: I haven’t heard of the policy you mentioned. What I do know is that NATO has been debating whether their relationship with China should be constructive or competitive. NATO didn’t call China a rival. This is because there is neither a geographic connection nor a conflict of interest between NATO member states and China. 5G is a boon, rather than a threat. I don’t think there has been any impact on our European markets.
23 Maria Cristina Lima Ferreira Fernandes Costa, Valor Econômico: My question is about AI. Just now you talked about the future development of AI positively. Now back to Latin America where we are seeing problems caused by uneven economic development, such as mass demonstrations in many countries as well as a lot of fake news. My question is, can AI at least help us eliminate fake news? Will there be any responsible AI system that can facilitate technological advancement without increasing unemployment in Latin American countries?
Ren: Social issues aren’t my area of focus. We are looking at AI to increase productivity in industrial and agricultural settings.
Fake news is not unique to Latin America. It’s prevalent in China, too. In the past, members of the media focused on exposing the real problems of society. Nowadays, however, many articles only have eye-catching headlines and no substance. Even the most accurate articles may have been spiced up a bit, and the worst are nothing but spice. AI alone can’t solve the problem of fake news. The law is the best solution.
AI can help create more wealth, but some say that it might also cause many people to lose their jobs. So I recommend that each country prioritizes the development of basic education to improve the literacy levels of their entire nation. They should also set up large numbers of vocational schools, to equip people with skills required for future jobs.
Sometimes, history develops differently to what people predict. When textile machines were first invented in the UK, it was believed that many people would lose their jobs. Some people even smashed these machines. Ultimately though, what we saw was the prosperous development of the textile industry, rather than textile workers losing their jobs. Today, we’re not in a position to predict what the future information society will be like. People need positive guidance. This is the only way for new technologies to create wealth for society rather than destroy social structures on a large scale.
24 Natacha Carla Esquivel, Clarín: I’m from Argentina, where we have a complicated situation. We borrowed a lot of money from the International Monetary Fund, so we have serious debt problems. This has led us to become very dependent on the US, hoping that the US will help us in this regard. In order to win the support of the US, do you think it’s likely that Argentina will go against China and take actions such as excluding Huawei from building their 5G networks? Because the US may use our weakness to force us into resisting China.
Ren: This is an option for the Argentine people. From our side, we will not give up on our development in Argentina. A momentary setback will not change our long-term strategy.
Ren: Thank you all for coming to Huawei today, and I’d love to welcome you all back this time next year. Next time, the highlight of the visit will be AI, rather than just a general tour. I would also recommend that you set some time aside to visit some showcase examples of how AI is applied in China. We’d like to make our contributions to the economic development of Latin America, which I think is the most beautiful place in the world. I hope to see you all again next year!
Journalist: See you next year.