Ren Zhengfei, the founder of China’s Huawei – the world’s second-largest telecom equipment maker – has spoken to the media for the first time.
The interview comes as Huawei has been under scrutiny in countries such as the US over alleged contacts with the Chinese military and the government.
Mr Ren sought to allay those fears, saying jealousy over its success may be a factor behind such allegations.
The 68 year-old spoke to a select group of New Zealand-based journalists.
The Associated Press news agency said that a request it had made to interview him was turned down by the company.
Huawei has enjoyed tremendous success over the past few years, becoming a key global player in the telecom sector.
It not only makes telecoms equipment, but has also ventured into manufacturing smartphones, a sector where it has gained a significant market share.
However, fears about its ties with the Chinese military have frequently surfaced, not least because of Mr Ren’s past.
He joined the Communist Party in 1978 and is a former member of the People’s Liberation Army.
There have been concerns and allegations that Huawei was helping China gather information on foreign states and companies, charges that the firm has denied.
According to a Fairfax Media, one of the outlets to interview Mr Ren, he told reporters that he was confident that no staff member of Huawei would engage in spying even if asked to do so by Chinese agencies.
He also added that when he joined the Communist Party in 1978, it was expected all “exceptional” people in China would do so.
“At that time my personal belief was to work hard, dedicate myself or even sacrifices myself for the benefit of the people,” he was quoted as saying.
“Joining the Communist Party was in line with that aspiration.”
Source: BBC News