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Huawei CEO says willing to license 5G technology to a US firm

HONG KONG: Huawei Technologies founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said on Thursday (Sep 26) the company is willing to license its 5G mobile technology to a US firm as it seeks to alleviate security concerns over its products.

Ren told reporters he was not afraid of creating a rival by making Huawei's technology available to competitors, and the offer could also include chip design know-how.

Huawei, the world's largest telecoms gear maker, has been on a US trade blacklist since May over concerns that its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy. Huawei has repeatedly denied such allegations.

The sanctions cut off Huawei's access to essential US technologies. The latest version of its Mate 30 flagship phone, unveiled last week in Europe, will not come with Google Mobile Services.

READ: Huawei Mate 30: No Google Play – but S $ 1.38 Billion for app developers

Ren's remarks come after he said this month that he was open to selling his firm's 5G technology – including patents, code, blueprints and production know-how – to Western firms for a one-off fee.

The offer to license out 5G technology marks Huawei's latest attempt, also the world's second-largest smartphone vendor, to minimize the impact of the US trade ban. It expects to hit some US $ 10 billion in revenue from its phone business this year.

READ: Huawei says US curbs unit smartphone revenue by over US $ 10 billion

READ: Huawei releases new suspension of 'unjust' US ban

In May, the US put Huawei on its so-called Entity List, which threatens to cut off its access to essential US components and technology, including Google's applications and services.

American companies were banned from selling most US parts and components to Huawei without special licenses, raising concerns about the company's supply chain.

Washington has alleged that Huawei is a national security risk, though the firm has repeatedly denied that its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. Huawei has since announced that it is developing its own operating system.

READ: Huawei unveils Harmony operating system, but won't ditch Android for smartphones

Last month, Huawei said trade restrictions on its business would be less than what it initially predicted.

China's smartphone sales surpassed nearly a third of a year ago in June, helping offset a slump in the global market.

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