President Donald Trump said on Thursday U.S. complaints against Huawei Technologies Co Ltd might be resolved within the framework of a U.S.-China trade deal, while at the same time calling the Chinese telecommunications giant “very dangerous.”
Washington last week effectively banned U.S. firms from doing business with Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms network gear maker, citing national security concerns.
“You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, from a military standpoint, it’s very dangerous,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form or some part of it.”
Trump predicted a swift end to the trade war with China, although no high-level talks have been scheduled between the two countries since the last round of negotiations ended in Washington two weeks ago.
Shares of S&P technology and industrial companies, bellwethers of trade sentiment, fell more than 2 percent on Thursday as the market slumped in a sign the conflict was being seen as a battle not just over trade but also about who controls global technology.
Earlier on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the chief executive of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, of lying about his company’s lack of ties to the Beijing government, which he said represented a security risk.
“The company is deeply tied not only to China but to the Chinese Communist Party. And that connectivity, the existence of those connections puts American information that crosses those networks at risk,” he said.
Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.
Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is Ren’s daughter, was arrested in Canada in December and faces extradition to the United States on charges she conspired to defraud global banks about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran. She and the company deny the charges.
Tech companies around the world have fallen in line with U.S. curbs on the company. Japanese conglomerate Panasonic Corp said it had stopped shipments of some Huawei components, a day after British chip designer ARM did the same, potentially crippling the Chinese company’s ability to make new chips for smartphones.
Asked if he believed more firms would stop working with Huawei, Pompeo told CNBC in an interview Thursday: “We do. We’ve been working at the State Department to make sure that everyone understands the risks.”