Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said that the Chinese vendor is now “more confident” that it can survive further sanctions by the U.S. government.

“This year, the U.S. might further escalate their campaign against Huawei, but I feel the impact on Huawei’s business would not be very significant,” the executive said, speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF), taking place this week in Davos, Switzerland.

In May 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce added Huawei to its Entity List, a decision that effectively banned the company from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval.

Under the order, Huawei will need a U.S. government license to buy components from U.S. suppliers. At that time, firms including Google, Intel, Qualcomm and Microm had halted shipments due to the restrictions. Huawei relies heavily on computer chips imported from U.S. companies. Out of $70 billion that Huawei spent buying components in 2018, some $11 billion went to U.S. firms including Qualcomm, Intel and Micron Technology.

The Trump administration included Huawei in the Department of Commerce’s Entity List due to security concerns, as Washington believes that the Chinese government uses Huawei’s equipment for spying purposes. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has been also lobbying allies in Europe and elsewhere to block mobile carriers from using Huawei’s equipment in 5G networks. Huawei has repeatedly denied these allegations.

“I think the U.S. should not be over concerned about Huawei and Huawei’s position in the world,” Ren added.

“Huawei was added to the [sanction]list last year and it didn’t hurt us much. This year the U.S. might further escalate their campaign against Huawei but I feel the impact against Huawei business will not be very significant (…) We are more confident that we can survive further attacks.”

In related news, U.K. telcos BT and Vodafone are considering writing to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to say they have seen no evidence that would justify a total ban on Huawei and to urge him to make a fact-based decision, according to a Reuters report.

The UK government is set to take a final decision on Huawei’s role in building new 5G networks this month.

Vodafone, which uses Huawei’s equipment in its radio network, has previously said that a total ban on Huawei would costs it millions of pounds and significantly slow down the rollout of 5G networks.

Vodafone had previously suspended the deployment of Huawei’s equipment in its core networks.

BT also uses Huawei’s equipment in networks, but it is not deployed in the intelligent core of its fixed-line network and it is removing it from the core of its mobile network.

BT has also excluded the Chinese vendor from the bidding process for its future 5G network.

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