Huawei’s US blacklisting row has little impact in Saudi Arabia

A Huawei logo is displayed at a retail store in Beijing on May 23, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 29 May 2019

Huawei’s US blacklisting row has little impact in Saudi Arabia

  • Company remains in a strong position despite the US sanctions, says founder

RIYADH: Huawei users in the Kingdom are hopeful the Chinese telecoms and smartphone giant can find an amicable solution to the crisis engulfing the company following its blacklisting by the US over fears that it threatened national security.
The US Department of Commerce hit Huawei with sanctions earlier this month, banning it from conducting business with American firms and forcing major suppliers such as Google to cut ties with the company.
The US ban threatens Huawei’s position as the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and second-biggest smartphone brand.
However, Huawei users in Riyadh said they have not faced any issues so far and are confident the company will solve the problem.
“I am positive about the situation,” Majed Al-Hedayan told Arab News. “The US wants to remain a leading source of technology around the world, even though China is working hard to create a new leadership in (the sector).”
He said Huawei offers excellence in software and networking, which gave it an edge in a global economic competition based on high-quality technology products, affordability and after-sales service.

FASTFACT

Most of the companies that provide consulting services to Huawei are based in the US, including major firms such as IBM and Accenture.

Zafar Hasan, an IT professional in Riyadh and a Huawei user, said that he has not faced any problems with the device and hopes the global leader will find a solution to the problem.
“If someone buys a Huawei phone, it means the consumer must trust the Android. If people stop services, it means they are scared and concerned about the smartphone,” he said.
Hasan said that if Huawei introduces a new operating system, he will continue to support the company.
Meanwhile, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has reiterated that the company remains in a strong position despite the US sanctions.
In a statement issued by the Huawei team in Riyadh, Ren said: “What the US will do is out of our control. To us, the most important thing is to do our job well. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the US companies we work with. Over these 30 years, they have helped us to grow into what we are today.”
Most of the companies that provide consulting services to Huawei are based in the US, including major firms such as IBM and Accenture.
“In the face of the recent crisis, I can feel these companies’ sense of justice and sympathy toward us,” Ren added.


Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.