Huawei's offer to license 5G tech to US firm to create an American rival is still 'on the table'
- Huawei's founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said last year the company would be willing to license its 5G technology exclusively to an American firm so that the U.S. could create a rival.
- That would allow the U.S. to compete with Huawei in 5G networks.
- As of yet, no company has taken up the offer. But in response to a CNBC piece, Huawei said the offer is still on the table.
Huawei's founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei made a bold offer last year.
He said the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker would be willing to license its 5G technology exclusively to an American firm so that the U.S. could create a rival that would be able to compete in the next-generation mobile networks.
No U.S. firm has taken up that offer. Huawei says it's still "on the table."
Huawei has faced pressure from the U.S. government which has accused it of being a national security threat. Washington maintains that Huawei's equipment could be used by China to carry out espionage, a claim Huawei has denied.
Last year, the U.S. added Huawei and its affiliates to a blacklist, the so-called Entity List — which effectively halts its ability to do business with American companies.
The Huawei USA Twitter account, responding on Tuesday to a CNBC opinion column, reiterated the idea of licensing its tech to an American firm.
Ren told CNBC in September that a license could include Huawei's proprietary 5G tech including source code, hardware, software, verification, production, and manufacturing know-how.
"I think that we should give (an) exclusive license with one U.S. company. After getting a license, they will be able to take our technology to compete with markets around the world," Ren said.
Officials from President Donald Trump's administration have also been pressuring allied countries to ban Huawei from their 5G networks.
Those networks are seen as crucial pieces of technology, touted as having the potential to underpin critical parts of countries' infrastructure. The U.S. is concerned about Huawei's ties to the Chinese government, and what that could mean for the safety of these networks.
The U.S. is trying to figure out a strategy to stop Huawei's continued growth. Attorney General William Barr recently suggested that the U.S. should take controlling stakes in Huawei's European competitors Ericsson and Nokia. And a group of bipartisan senators introduced a bill in the U.S. aimed at freeing up $1 billion of federal funds to invest in rivals to Huawei.