iFlytek executive Hu Yu may have spoken too soon when he made a positive comparison of his company to Huawei Technologies during a new product launch in Shanghai earlier this week.
The president of the Chinese voice recognition leader boasted on stage that it had a lot in common with Huawei, the global telecoms leader that is considered a national security threat by the US.
"Huawei and iFlytek are very similar in DNA. Both are the kind of companies persistent enough to take 10 years to sharpen one sword," said Hu, who takes the title of rotating president of iFlytek in another apparent nod to Huawei which has long used "rotating" CEOs and chairmen.
The next day the Hefei-based company was caught in the crosshairs of the US government, after reports said Washington was considering placing it and four other Chinese companies on the same export control blacklist as Huawei.
In an official statement on Thursday, iFlytek said it has not received any official notification regarding the ban and is hoping to get fair treatment from the US government.
Overseas markets only account for a small share of its business and iFlytek already had a plan in place to cope with an "extreme situation" that threatened its supply of foreign components used in certain consumer products, the statement said. "We think there will be no major impact on iFlytek's daily operation even if the extreme situation happens," said the statement.