Huawei takes out full-page WSJ ad: 'Don't believe everything you hear'

Key Points
  • Huawei is on a media blitz to repair its image globally. Thursday, it took out a full-page ad in the The Wall Street Journal describing "misunderstandings" by the U.S. government and inviting American journalists to visit the company's campuses.
  • The ad, in the form of an open letter, was written by Huawei director Catherine Chen.
Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive officer of Huawei Technologies Co., speaks during an interview at the company's headquarters in Shenzhen, China, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.
Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Embattled technoloogy giant Huawei took out a full-page print advertisement in Thursday's edition of The Wall Street Journal, telling readers "Don't believe everything you hear. Come and see us."


The advertisement, presented as an "open letter" by Catherine Chen, a senior vice president and director of Huawei's board, asks U.S. journalists to visit the company's campuses, and says the U.S. government -- which has accused the company of espionage, fraud and theft in the past year -- "has developed some misunderstandings about us."

Huawei has been facing increasing scrutiny over what U.S. officials have characterized as a long-term effort to use its technology products for espionage. The U.S. has openly contemplated bans of the company's 5G and energy products, and other countries aligned with the U.S. have already banned its equipment or are considering boycotts.

The letter tries to position the company as an important U.S. partner: "We work with many leading U.S. companies on technology development, business consulting and procurement."

The letter also highlights the work of its employees in helping disaster-hit areas recover their communications capabilities.

Aside from this entreaty, Huawei has been on a global ad blitz this year promoting its 5G gear, technology that is at the heart of espionage accusations against the company.

Some of the ads have taken shots at winning over customers in countries like New Zealand that, aligned with the U.S., have banned Huawei's equipment, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Another in Berlin capitalizes on locals' complaints about people not curbing their dogs: "What will be more widespread in Berlin: 5G or dog poo," it reads. The German government has been contemplating a ban of Huawei's 5G equipment over national security concerns.

A rare look inside Chinese smartphone giant, Huawei's headquarters
A rare look inside Chinese smartphone giant, Huawei's headquarters

On Monday, 11 U.S. senators and other top cabinet officials called for a ban of Huawei-made power inverters for solar panels over what they called espionage and infrastructure concerns. U.S. intelligence officials have made accusations of espionage and a too-close relationship to Chinese intelligence agencies for more than a decade. The company's CFO, Meng Wanzhou, is facing extradition to the U.S. over fraud charges related to Iran sanctions.