Trump should consider meeting Huawei’s Ren at Davos

By Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/15 22:03:40

Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT

US President Donald Trump should consider meeting with Ren Zhengfei, founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies, at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.

The forum will open shortly after China and the US sign a phase one trade deal. Whether it's a formal or informal meeting, the event would inject great optimism into the global technology world and lift major stocks in the sector. 

The official agenda of the annual forum shows that the 75-year-old Chinese entrepreneur will soon head to Switzerland, where Trump and high-profile US officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House senior advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will be present. Although it's unknown whether Ren and Trump will be able to run into each other by chance, the US president should consider listening to rational voices of industry representatives, among whom Ren is a typical figure. 

The entrepreneur is part of the Chinese high-tech industry suppressed by the US government for political reasons over the past year. Growing hostility also hurts the global supply chain, casting a shadow over technology development.  

Although Washington has put more pressure on other countries to ban Chinese technology, Ren, a former engineer who insists that collaboration makes the technology world better, once said he would take Trump's call. 

"We can communicate and achieve cooperation," Ren told a TV interviewer in 2019, suggesting both sides should work together to build an informed society. Although Huawei has made significant achievements, Ren considers it is confined to a very small scope while the US is still ahead in the technology sector in the big picture. 

With an open mind, Ren has reiterated that the trade war between China and the US should not force people to become conservative and populist, and cooperation should always be a priority for global technology development. It's widely believed that the US government, instead of being controlled by hawks' political bias, should listen to what the industry says. 

After the phase one trade deal is signed, it would create a positive sentiment for China and the US to seek more cooperation and reach a consensus on additional topics. Technology will also be a major topic, and collaboration instead of confrontation is the shared expectation of industries of both sides. 

More importantly, a potential meeting between Ren and Trump wouldn't just grab global attention - it would also send a strong, positive signal to the US market, as big companies like Microsoft and Intel have been waiting for eased tensions between the two countries in the high-tech domain. It will also inject new momentum into major technology stocks on the Nasdaq. 

For instance, Microsoft's president has called the US move to blacklist Huawei unfair and a threat to US companies' competitiveness. It also reflects US tech companies' eagerness to see China-US tension eased soon. 

If a possible meet-up would bring so many benefits to the world, why not consider it, Mr President? 

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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