context: With more countries considering barring Huawei from 5G networks and the intensifying US probe, Huawei might find this year a tougher battle. While China and the US can concede on trade, the more salient technology competition is not easily resolvable in the short term.

When asked about the US criminal investigation into Huawei for alleged theft of trade secrets from business partners, Hua Chunying 华春莹 Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson says the US is politicising normal civil lawsuits, suppressing Chinese companies with state apparatus and violating the spirit of fair competition and rule of law. Hua calls the US ban on the sale of microchips to Chinese tech companies hysterical, adding that what the US is doing is neither normal nor proper.

A Global Times editorial says Huawei is facing persecution on many fronts: the arrest of CFO Meng Wanzhou 孟晚舟, the arrest of an executive in Poland, the criminal investigation over tech theft and bills to ban sales of chips. The editorial calls these moves a reflection of ‘McCarthyism’ in the tech world. The editorial calls for more government protection on Chinese enterprises as they are the core of national competitiveness and are crucial to China’s peaceful rise.

Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei 任正非 says in a recent interview that Huawei is prepared for the situation it is facing today and that current hardships will not hit the company hard. He says that Huawei’s 5G technology is the best in the world and that Western countries will incur higher costs if they don’t use Huawei devices.

As for IPR theft, Ren says Huawei has won a few major lawsuits filed against it in the US while the company’s 11,152 core patents were authorised in the US.