No luck for Huawei. The first participation of the Chinese group at VivaTech, organized by Les Echos and Publicis, coincided with
the signing by Donald Trump, the day before, of the very controversial decree
preventing US telecom operators from buying Huawei's antennas and other products, but without citing it. Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce has decided to take restrictive measures that will prevent the Chinese group to provide US technologies.
But on the stage of VivaTech, Ken Hu, the group's CEO, carefully avoided the subject. The leader only half-hearted the decision of the White House. " We are in a world that is changing fast and we face many difficulties, he explained in English, in front of the pink neon lights of the main stage. The only way forward is openness and collaboration […] This is the only way to build hope in the future. The concern is however real within the group to the point that Ken Hu had to shorten his stay in Paris …
A few hours earlier, the Chinese group, reacting to the US decision, had denounced unreasonable restrictions that will infringe upon Huawei's rights And which will have the effect of confining the United States to lower and more expensive alternatives 5G, technology for which Huawei presents itself as " the leader without rival ".
The Elysee reserved on the US decision
For Huawei, threatened for months by the US administration, the decision does not change much operationally. The giant of Shenzhen was already absent or almost from the American market,
because of its supposed links with Beijing that worries Washington.
But symbolically, the signing of the US decree is a setback for Huawei, at a time when several European countries, such as Germany and the United Kingdom,
seem to shyly reopen the doors of 5G
As if to dispel any fears, on stage, Ken Hu recalled the birth of the group " as a start-up,
Thirty years ago, on the 6th floor of a Shenzhen building ". And how he has become today a local company, in each of the 170 countries where he is present. " We opened our offices in La Défense 17 years ago. Today, we employ almost 1,000 people in France, and we have five research centers "He pointed, before making the surprise announcement of its intention to invest 35 million euros over five years in its Paris Open Lab, a laboratory dedicated to joint innovation with industry.
A few hours earlier, Emmanuel Macron, visiting VivaTech had distanced himself from Donald Trump's position. " Our perspective is not to block Huawei or any other company but to preserve our national security and European sovereignty, did he declare. I think that launching a technological war now or a commercial war against any country is not appropriate. For the President of the Republic, France and Europe are pragmatic and realistic. We want to develop employment, business, innovation. We believe in cooperation and multilateralism ", while doing " pay close attention to 5G access to core network technologies to preserve our national security. "
In fact, the Elysee relies on Huawei to develop the French ecosystem. But do not open the door completely either. France, for example, has not accepted the group in its core telecom networks and a bill is underway that could limit the deployment of Huawei in the 5G.