Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said Thursday that he’s not worried about the ongoing U.S.-China trade war impacting the company’s success.
“We are executing our strategy with our Western European vendors,” Vestberg told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin from the annual Sun Valley media conference in Idaho. “It seems that you can do that without Huawei.”
Verizon has no reliance on China, he stressed. “We don’t use any Huawei equipment, and we have no impact from the Chinese trade war,” he explained. “So for us, this is a non-event.”
In May, the Trump administration effectively blacklisted China-based Huawei from doing business in the U.S., citing national security concerns. While President Donald Trump agreed last month to allow Huawei to purchase some U.S. commercial products as an incentive to restart trade talks with China, the White House remains adamant that the move is not a total reprieve.
Huawei was pulled into the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing as the two nations race to construct next-generation 5G wireless technologies. The Trump administration is worried about Huawei products getting embedded into U.S. networks and the potential for them to be used by China’s communist government for spying. Huawei has repeatedly denied that would ever happen.
As for Verizon’s 5G plans and the competition to build out U.S. capabilities? Vestberg said he’s not concerned. “We’ll compete, we already have the best 4G market.” He added, “We’ll just hammer on and execute.”
Verizon CEO: Don’t break up Big Tech
“Customers will ultimately judge them,” he said.
An increasing number of bipartisan lawmakers and 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are calling for government regulation of social media and tech platforms, citing antitrust and privacy concerns.
However, Vestberg said technological innovation is moving too quickly for regulation to properly keep up.