Ren Zhengfei, founder of Chinese telecommunications and smartphone maker Huawei, has said that allegations surrounding spying on Western countries are false.
Speaking in a rare press appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the 70-year-old former Red Army soldier said: “Why would I want to take someone’s data? Who would give me money for it?”
The company, which was founded in 1987 and moved into the IT enterprise business four years ago, has effectively been barred from operations in the U.S. because of allegations of implementing backdoors in hardware that would allow it to spy on the country.
Ironically, it was the U.S. which was then purported to have been snooping on Huawei. This ‘Snowden revelation’ came to light in German newspaper Der Spiegel.
Ren said: “The biggest enemy we’ve run into isn’t other people, it’s ourselves.”
During the program, which ran until December 31 2014, Huawei told its employees that it would be lenient on them if they came forward with admissions of policy violations.
Ren said that 4,000 to 5,000 employees had come forward last year. An internal investigation in the autumn found that 116 employees had been found to be corrupt. Huawei has around 150,000 employees globally.
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