Huawei president: "We will never" provide Chinese government with any information

Huawei CEO denies giving China information

China's top economic official will hold trade talks in Washington later this week – another sign that efforts to avoid an all-out trade war are making progress. But the Trump administration is still urging U.S. allies to shun Huawei, claiming the Chinese telecom giant gives confidential information to China's government.

The Justice Department indicted Huawei last month on 23 criminal charges, including wire fraud, money laundering, and stealing trade secrets. The company's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada in December and accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

In his first TV interview with an American journalist, Meng's father, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, spoke with "CBS This Morning" co-host Bianna Golodryga.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Have you ever given any information to the Chinese government, in any way, shape, or form?

REN ZHENGFEI: For the past 30 years, we have never done that, and the next 30 years to come, we will never do that.

GOLODRYGA: Could Huawei possibly have a backdoor without your knowledge?

REN: It is not possible. Because across our entire organization, we've stressed once and again that we will never do that. If we did have that, with America's advanced technology, they would found that already. So that proves we do not have it.

GOLODRYGA: They maybe find it hard to believe, as much as you deny, that China if ever approaching you by using backdoor access to any customer information, that you would say no, or that you would have the opportunity to say no.

REN: Hypotheses are not evidence. Evidence is based on facts. If you have doubts or concerns, it's normal.

CBS News reached out to the Justice Department for comment, but have not yet heard back. 

Watch the extended interview with Ren starting Wednesday, Feb. 20 on "CBS This Morning."