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Huawei Founder Says There’s No Stopping China’s Tech Giant, Despite U.S. Pressure

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The founder of Huawei said there is “no way the U.S. can crush” the tech giant, calling the December arrest of his daughter — the company’s chief financial officer — “politically motivated.”

In an interview with the BBC, Ren Zhengfei spoke confidently about the company’s fate despite mounting pressure from Washington. The U.S. has accused the company of circumventing sanctions against Iran and stealing trade secrets.

The U.S. has leveled 23 charges against Huawei and Ren’s daughter and Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested at Washington’s request in Vancouver, where she is currently under house arrest awaiting possible extradition.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned countries not to use Huawei technology and said that doing so would make it harder for Washington to “partner alongside them.”

The U.S., Australia and New Zealand have already blocked Huawei from their 5G mobile broadband networks. Canada is considering following suit.

Nonetheless, Ren remains bullish.

“There’s no way the U.S. can crush us,” Ren told the BBC. “The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit.”

“If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. And if the North goes dark, there is still the South. America doesn’t represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world,” he added.

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Write to Hillary Leung at hillary.leung@time.com