The offer was made by chief executive Ren Zhengfei during an interview with the British magazine, The Economist. Ren said, for a one-off payment, the buyer would have access to all Huawei’s existing 5G patents, licences, code, technical blueprints and production secrets.
The buyer would be allowed to modify the source code which meant that nobody could in future accuse either Huawei or the Chinese Government of being able to have any control over such hypothetical equipment built by the buyer.
Huawei is under attack from the US which has claimed, for some years, that the Chinese firm’s equipment can be used for spying by Beijing. The US, Australia and Japan have banned the use of Huawei gear in their 5G networks; New Zealand has banned one telco, Spark, from using the equipment, but claims that it has not yet instituted a ban.
Ren told The Economist that the money from such a deal would allow Huawei to make progress in its development. A US ban on purchases from American companies has hit Huawei hard and the company is expected to make losses this year and in coming years as well. It has cut nearly 100 staff in Australia.
There has been no indication from Beijing as to whether the Chinese Government would agree to such a proposal; Huawei is the biggest 5G supplier worldwide, well ahead of Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia. The fourth company with the ability to build end-to-end 5G networks, ZTE Corporation, is also Chinese.