Ren Zhengfei, the billionaire founder and chief executive of Huawei Technologies, said he is ready to share its 5G technology and has extended an enticing offer to the western counterparts. Proposing this new and generous deal, Huawei additionally said that the US companies that license its tech would, in turn, be able to sell their 5G products in other countries as well.
It is this 5g technology, central to Huawei’s future revenue growth that Mr. Ren said he was ready to share, in a two-hour interview with The Economist on September 10th. For a one-time fee, a transaction would give the buyer perpetual access to Huawei’s existing 5G patents, licenses, code, technical blueprints, and production know-how.
The acquirer could modify the source code, meaning that neither Huawei nor the Chinese government would have even hypothetical control of any telecoms infrastructure built using equipment produced by the new company. Huawei would likewise be free to develop its technology in whatever direction it pleases.
The comments from the Chinese telecom giant comes amidst the US-China trade tussle and after it was put on a US trade blacklist in May on national security grounds. This has curtailed its attempts to roll out its next-generation 5G network across the globe.
However, The Devil lies in the details; the offer is a cleverly designed one. With the U.S. lacking any genuine 5G champion of its own, Huawei could be seen as levelling the playing field. Europe has its champions—Ericsson and Nokia, and China has Huawei. This way there would be a third leg to there stool and everyone could relax. Moreover, the source code could be reviewed and modified by Huawei, leaving little chances of backdoors that way.
It seems that Huawei is aiming to create a rival that could compete in 5G with Huawei itself (which would keep its existing contracts and continue to sell its 5G kit). This would help level the playing field at a time when many in the West have grown alarmed at the prospect of a Chinese company supplying the gear for most of the world’s new mobile-phone networks.”
In this scenario, Huawei is betting on its 5G networking equipment and its vast R&D infrastructure, which has enabled it to build a technology lead, along with the competitive pricing difficult for others to match.
“A balanced distribution of interests is conducive to Huawei’s survival,” Ren said in the interview.
The offer is an Olive Branch from Huawei and has been interpreted as a gesture towards the U.S administration, as an attempt to soften the relentless campaign to frustrate the Huawei operations globally. Moreover, Washington recently decided to grant it a reprieve to buy major components from American hi-tech companies, giving hope to the possibility of an amicable solution in the coming days.