As tensions between China and the U.S. rise over 5G security and distribution, Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei isn’t backing down, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The last year and a half has seen President Trump take aggressive steps to diminish Huawei, as the U.S. announced criminal indictments, restrictions, and supplier blacklistings against the company.
The U.S. restricted the company from receiving its own designed chips in May. Mr. Ren’s daughter, Meng Wanzhou remains in Canada as she awaits an extradition case amidst U.S. allegations regarding Huawei disregarding sanctions on Iran. Huawei’s financial gains have also fallen, as international business dried up. Without access to Google or any of its apps, the company has had to rely on domestic sales. International operations reflect half of Huawei’s revenue.
A month after Meng was arrested, Mr. Ren told employees at a Huawei research-and-development center in Hangzhou, “surge forward, killing as you go, to blaze us a trail of blood.” Huawei continues to state that the Chinese government has never had a stake in the company, and that the company receives no perks or benefits. Yet, the Journal has found Huawei to be a recipient of tens of billions of dollars in state financial assistance from the Chinese government. In its latest defensive tactic, the company filed a lawsuit in March 2019 against a defense act that barred federal agencies and contractors from purchasing any Huawei goods.
In an interview, Mr. Ren said, “The fact is, we were forced to speak up and stand up and defend our position. The U.S. is waving a stick at us, and after taking a blow from the left, we can’t just wait for the next one to come at us from the right.”
He added, “While our company is climbing upwards, I will be on the way down due to my physical condition, and will not be able to continue climbing with the company. We now know where our pain points are and where we should improve.”