Brazil ignores US pressure to reject Huawei

Vice president Hamilton Mourao welcomes infrastructure investment despite US requests to exclude the Chinese giant from its 5G suppliers.

The Brazilian government will not interfere in Huawei's activities and wants it to invest in local infrastructure, as long as the Chinese giant creates local jobs and plays by its rules.

Brazilian vice-president Hamilton Mourao said in an interview with Reuters that the country would not ban Huawei from operating a 5G network in Brazil despite requests to do so from the US president, Donald Trump.

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Mourao also said he had been reassured by chief executive Ren Zhengfei that data from the Brazilian local operation would not be handled by the Chinese government.

The Brazilian vice-president also pointed that while it would not be acceptable for Chinese firms to "bring thousands of Chinese people" to take over local jobs, Brazil's position when it comes to doing business with China, a key trading partner, is "pragmatic and flexible".

Mourao confirmed to Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico that Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro was asked by US president Donald Trump to stop Huawei from developing new mobile networks in Brazil during a visit to Washington.

"We are a country that needs to be more digitally integrated. You only need to be 50 kilometers away from [Brazil's capital] Brasilia to lose your phone signal," Mourao said.

Brazil intends to auction the 5G spectrum in 2020.  

Huawei has been expanding other parts of its business in Brazil, having relaunched its consumer operations in the country in May.