Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei has made the unlikely admission that he is a big fan of one of the Chinese smartphone maker's biggest rivals.
Speaking to state media, Mr Zhengfei revealed he bought Apple iPhones for his family when he left China.
"iPhone has a good ecosystem and when my family are abroad, I still buy them iPhones, so one can't narrowly think love for Huawei should mean loving Huawei phones," he said, according to the South China Morning Post.
The tech boss was responding to calls in China to boycott the US firm to counteract the US government's recently announced Huawei ban.
After placing Huawei on its Entity List earlier this week, the Chinese smartphone giant has just three months before it will be blocked from receiving Android updates from Google.
Huawei has been contacted for comment but is yet to respond to the remarks.
Mr Zhengfei claimed that the US has underestimated his company's strength and says Huawei is prepared to operate without relying on US firms.
"The US 90-day temporary licence [to do business with Google] does not have much impact on us, we are ready," he said earlier this week.
The Trump administration claims the ban relates to concerns over the firm's alleged ties to the Chinese government, which could potentially allow China to use Huawei devices as surveillance tools. However no proof has been publicly shared to verify these suspicions.
Despite the potential profit to be made in his own country from an Apple boycott, the Huawei boss is against punishing Apple for US government policy.
Beyond his own fondness for Apple products, other Huawei employees have also been caught using iPhones. Earlier this year, a tweet from the official Huawei account was marked "via Twitter for iPhone."
Two employees responsible for the gaff were reportedly demoted as a result.
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