U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday the chief executive of China's Huawei Technologies was lying about his company's ties to the Beijing government, and he believed more U.S. companies would cut ties with the tech giant.
The United States placed Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on a trade blacklist last week, effectively banning U.S. firms from doing business with the world's largest telecom network gear maker, escalating a trade battle between the world's two biggest economies.
"The company is deeply tied not only to China but to the Chinese Communist Party. And that connectivity, the existence of those connections puts American information that crosses those networks at risk," Pompeo told CNBC in an interview.
Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services. Pompeo dismissed Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei's assertions that his company would never share user secrets.
"That's just false. To say that they don't work with the Chinese government is a false statement. He is required by Chinese law to do that. The Huawei CEO on that at least isn't telling the American people the truth, nor the world," Pompeo said.
Asked if he believed more companies would stop working with Huawei, Pompeo said: "We do. We've been working at the State Department to make sure that everyone understands the risks."
Pompeo said he believed a New York Times report https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/world/asia/china-surveillance-xinjiang.html, saying that China was using high-tech surveillance to subdue minorities including ethnic Muslim Uighurs, was true.