Huawei's founder Ren Zhengfei has friends at the top .... But they are, he implies in remarks reported by the FT on Tuesday, just and only that .... The Chinese government has never ordered or requested Huawei to spy for them, he says.
His words are the latest twist in over a month of tensions - since Ren's daughter Meng Wanzhou - who is also Huawei CFO - was arrested in Canada at US request .... Putting Beijing and Ottawa on an apparent collision course.
On Monday, China sentenced a Canadian to death for drug smuggling, sparking a further exchange of angry words between the two.
The world's biggest producer of telco equipment has been under intense scrutiny over U.S.-led allegations that its devices could be used by Beijing for spying.
Australia, New Zealand and the UK have also taken steps to ban Huawei from providing 5G networks.
Though that's a worry Ren plays down.
Huawei able, he says, to work with everyone - and that the company had 30 contracts globally to build 5G infrastructure.
The former military officer - who founded Huawei in 1987 - largely keeps a low profile.
"I still love my country," he said, and "support the Communist party - but will never do anything to harm any country in the world" He misses his daughter, he added, "very much".