Huawei's founder claims that growth "may slow down, but only slightly" after US restrictions

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(Reuters) – Huawei Technologies founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said the growth of the Chinese technology giant "could slow down but only slightly" due to recent US restrictions.

PHOTO PHOTO: Huawei's logo is seen at high-profile startups and high-tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech, in Paris, France, 16 May 2019. REUTERS / Charles Platiau

In the commentary to the Japanese press and reported by s.nikkei.com/2VMJSaT from Nikkei Asian Review, Ren reiterated that the Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer has not violated any law.

"Huawei's growth is expected to slow, but only slightly," Ren told Japanese media in his first official comments after US restrictions, adding that the company's annual revenue growth could be less than 20% .

On Thursday, Washington included Huawei, one of China's largest and most successful companies, on a commercial blacklist that could make it extremely difficult for Huawei to do business with US companies, a decision slammed by China, which said it would take action to protect companies.

The developments surrounding Huawei come at a time of commercial tensions between Washington and Beijing and among the United States' concerns that Huawei's smartphones and network equipment could be used by China to spy on Americans, accusations that the company has repeatedly denied .

A similar US ban on the Chinese ZTE Corp has almost paralyzed business for Huawei's smaller rival at the beginning of last year, before the curb was lifted.

The US Department of Commerce said it could soon reduce restrictions on Huawei.

Ren said the company was prepared for such a step and that Huawei would be "good" even if the US chipmaker Qualcomm Inc and other US suppliers didn't sell chips to the company.

The Huawei HiSilicon chip chip announced on Friday that it has long been prepared for the scenario in which US chip and technology purchases could be banned, and is able to guarantee a steady supply of most products.

The founder of Huawei said that the company will not take instructions from the US government.

"We will not change our management at the request of the United States or we will accept monitoring, as ZTE did," he said.

In January, US prosecutors canceled a charge accusing the Chinese company of committing bank fraud to get US goods and services embargoed in Iran and to transfer money out of the country through the international banking system.

Ren's daughter, Huawei's financial director, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada in December in connection with the charge. Meng, who was released on bail, remains in Vancouver and is fighting extradition. He kept his innocence.

Previously, Ren said his daughter's arrest was politically motivated.

Reporting of Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by James Dalgleish

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