Today, on October 29, Huawei released the full text of Ren Zhengfei’s interview with Euronews on October 22, in which Ren Zhengfei first explained five strategic development opportunities in Huawei’s history. Huawei shift is every media interview must ask the question, this time, Ren Zhengfei made a clearer explanation, he said: Huawei has achieved an institutional shift, I am just hanging in the middle of a puppet.
The full interview is the following:
Transcript for Ren Zhengfei’s Interview with Euronews
October 22, 2019
1, Euronews reporter Damon Embling: Mr. Ren Zhengfei is the CEO and founder of Huawei. Mr. Ren, thank you very much for joining the Global Dialogue today. First of all, I’d like to ask a question about your childhood. You were born in 1944 in one of China’s poorest provinces. What was it like to grow up there? Do you remember what happened in those years?
Ren Zhengfei: My childhood growth is carefree. At that time the knowledge is not as explosive as today, there is not so much extra-curricular homework, parents do not care about us, allow us to run around, play everywhere, so that we give a lot of freedom, after school can play more, such as swimming in the river, fishing, birding …
Although material is scarce at that time, we do not know what material abundance looks like, let alone the life of Europeans, without comparison there is no pain. Moreover, today we know that the mind is more important than material for the healthy growth of children, and now the burden of learning is too heavy for children, parents are too demanding of their children, although the material living conditions are much better than we were then, but children may not be happy.
Therefore, I think my childhood should be very happy.
2, Damon Embling: I know you’ve introduced your early years as nothing, not a big man. After that, you join the Chinese army and become an engineer. What do you think of your military career?
Ren Zhengfei: In our youth, China is in a very slow period of economic development. We have the pursuit, but also hope to have some opportunities, when the soldiers than as ordinary people have more opportunities, they actively want to become soldiers, feel that being a soldier is a kind of glory, this glory to bring us is to obey discipline, hard work. At that time, because of the Cultural Revolution, China was in a mess, knowledge useless theory prevailed, And China’s infrastructure basically stalled. Some key projects, such as the introduction of large-scale chemical fiber plant, no one in the local willing to go to difficult areas to build, the state will use the army to build. During the Cultural Revolution, we also had access to France’s most advanced equipment technology, the chemical fiber production equipment of Debnis Sbesim, France, which, although we were a little bitter, felt lucky.
3, Damon Embling: We know you worked in the oil industry for several years after the Chinese army switched to the oil industry, and then founded Huawei. What was your vision for huawei in the late 1980s? Why did you start this company? What is the real goal of starting a company?
Ren Zhengfei: the army is implementing a planned economy, neither the pursuit of profit, nor pay attention to costs, as long as the task is completed on it. When we moved to the place, China had just opened up its reforms and started to move towards the commodity economy, which we were very unaccustomed to, did not know what “commodities” were, and you saw how strange we were to the market economy. The state document says that to engage in the commodity economy, the above argument is very strong, we do not know what “goods” is, let alone know that this is a major social mechanism reform. At that time was very not adapted to the social transformation, I was working in state-owned enterprises, and then state-owned enterprises do not want me. In order to survive, there is the idea of running their own company, this idea is very risky, in case of failure to do? But there is no way to go, only to keep going.
Damon Embling: You started Huawei with a very small amount of money, as if it was only about $3,000, right? How did such a small sum of money make the company work well in the early days?
Ren Zhengfei: Yes. At that time, everyone in China didn’t have much money, including other start-ups, and it was very difficult, and so did we. Registering a private technology company at that time required five shareholders and a registered capital of nearly $3,000. I didn’t have that much money, I found someone to put together more than 3000 dollars to register the company, after registration basically no money.
At the beginning is mainly as an agent to sell other people’s equipment, earn money and then pay the purchase price, through this agent mechanism to grow up. In fact, it was a tough process, my salary was so low that I started at less than $100 a month and didn’t get paid for the first few months.
Damon Embling: What are the driving forces that drive Huawei to move forward, with huge challenges and difficulties in the start-up phase? What was your vision for the future?
Ren Zhengfei: Survive.
Damon Embling: It’s as simple as that?
Ren Zhengfei: It’s as simple as that. Because to bear the responsibility of children’s education, growth, I personally did not give children enough care and love, but always to earn money to their lives. I’ve applied for a few positions, others don’t. In fact, I just wanted to apply for a job at first, but no one wanted me. Reason: First, the operation has been wrong, others do not believe, and second, at that time also do not need technology, because the society is in the era of buy-to-let, no way to go, just then the state allowed the establishment of private technology enterprises, I also created a company on impulse.
4. Damon Embling: Founded in the late 1980s, Huawei has grown into a global giant in technology, telecommunications and mobile communications, employing 188,000 people. You yourself has gone from a humble starting point to one of the most prominent people in China today. What is the reason behind Huawei’s rapid growth over the years?
Ren Zhengfei: We have felt in the early stages of the enterprise, to survive, only respect the customer, respect the values of customers, respect the interests of customers. Money in the customer’s pocket, only good quality, good service, it will give you. At that time, our attitude towards customers is religiously pious, the implementation of a concept “prefer to suffer, to let customers’ needs, customer values to be realized”, so that our image in the eyes of customers is getting better and better, more and more things sell.
When we accumulate to a certain size, agents think we may control the market, do not supply us, so the cut is not the first time we encounter, we also know that we have to develop their own products to survive. Our first product was a 40-door analog switch, which seems super simple today, and it was a lot of pressure on us. At that time, China had just begun to open up reform, and small guest houses and small shops needed small equipment, giving us the opportunity. We started with the development of small equipment, accumulated talent, capital, experience, accumulated the trust of our customers, only step by step.
In the whole process, we do not earn money on their own quick consumption, but is very economical, the money to be re-invested in research and development, all the energy is dedicated to customers, won the trust of customers. To this day, our customers have a very high level of trust in us. As you know, Europe is an ally of the United States, and the United States has been campaigning against us in Europe, but European customers are buying our equipment. Under this high pressure, customers also buy our equipment, is decades of our customers accumulated integrity brought about by the value of the impact.
5, Damon Embling: The U.S. question will be discussed later. I want to know how Huawei developed step by step in the Chinese market. How difficult was It to expand Huawei’s presence in the Chinese market that year? After all, Huawei’s growth still seems a little counterintuitive, right?
Ren Zhengfei: At that time, 100% of China’s telecommunications market was occupied by Western companies, “seven countries and eight systems”, seven countries eight types, including Sweden’s Ericsson, Finland’s Nokia, France’s Alcatel, Germany’s Siemens, the United States’ Lucent, Canada’s Nortel, Japan’s NEC and Fujitsu. So many countries, so many system, but are suitable for urban use of large-scale switches, not suitable for rural communications needs, too large scale, rural areas can not afford such a high cost.
At that time, China’s rural communications market just started, just have gap space, we started from 40 switches, do 100 doors, do 200 doors, and then do 2000 doors, and then began to do some large-scale program-controlled switches, to meet the needs of some township grass-roots use, we are so step up.
6. Damon Embling: What I want to know is, how did Huawei develop step by step in the face of technical and operational problems? Once upon a time, the Chinese government really didn’t like Huawei, did it? They even want to shut down Huawei, right?
Ren Zhengfei: Yes, in the early days, the government didn’t know much about us. Because we have an employee shareholding system, that is, employees have capital, may be mistaken as a capitalist company, do not meet the socialist conditions. This misunderstanding was gradually dispelled more than a decade ago because we pay more and more taxes to the government. Huawei now pays governments around the world about $20 billion a year in taxes, much of it to the Chinese government. The government saw our contribution to society, but also saw Huawei’s integrity, compliance with the law, so gradually recognize us, accept us. This is the first window of opportunity.
The second opportunity is that more than 20 years ago we went to Africa and other places, some countries are in war, Western companies are all retreating, they can not provide communications equipment to these countries, and we were selling equipment in China’s rural market to them, so we also have a foothold abroad, accumulated a certain amount of capital. Our success in foreign markets has also given the Chinese government confidence that Huawei has not developed cheaply in China, but also abroad. Then we went into Europe and the government saw that we could get into the developed countries and thought that Huawei was good, and the misunderstanding was eliminated.
The third chance, after we entered Europe, there were a lot of coincidences. We have a Russian guy who spent more than a decade working on an algorithm that works with software between 2G and 3G, so 2G and 3G can be combined in one device. Theoretically can save half the cost, reduce the weight by half, not necessarily so much, but there are 30-40%, the key is to reduce the weight of the product. The weight of the product is particularly important in Europe, where there are not so many towers, poles… Install base stations, most of which are installed on the old house, and if the equipment is too heavy, the house can’t afford it. So our equipment is popular in Europe, starting with this algorithm to get 2G, 3G devices, we are fast into Europe, this is the story of SingleRAN’s possession of Europe. Next according to this algorithm, 2G, 3G, 4G software can also be through, 2G, 3G, 4G can be the same device, greatly improve efficiency, but also improve the company’s profit margin, it is possible to have more money into research and development. At that time, 3G in the world has several systems: European WCDMA, the United States CDMA2000, China TD-SCDMA, through the extension of the algorithm, we all these systems integrated into a single device, in Europe, China and other places can sell the same equipment, to better meet customer demand. It further enhances the company’s competitiveness and its profitability. As a result of the integration of the system, the cost is greatly reduced, our sales revenue is also increasing, the increase in accumulation is not to take consumption, but continue to invest in the future.
The fourth opportunity point, the world communications experienced seven or eight decades of development, each stage of the government in the allocation of frequency, to the operator in this band divided into a small section, after a period of time in that band and then a section, the old operators have more than a dozen frequency bands, corresponding to the need for more than a dozen antennas, each antenna has different electronic components. And multiple antennas lead to increased load load, which is all cost. Using our own algorithm, we synthesize a dozen antennas into one antenna, and several types of equipment into a single device, called “multi-frequency multimode”, which is our original technology, which makes our wireless communication stand on the world-leading stage at once. Our lead, not from 5G, 4G we have led. The leading point was a mathematical algorithm for a Russian guy, who is now our company’s Fellow, a big scientist, in his mid-40s.
The source of the 5G Polar key code was a mathematical paper published by Professor Arikan in Turkey more than a decade ago, which we discovered two months later and put thousands of people into parsing and developing it. We’re ahead of the world again in 5G, and that’s a coincidence. Both of these turning points are related to basic theory.
The fifth opportunity point, there is a coincidence. In fact, Huawei in previous years also nearly decline, because the market is becoming saturated, thanks to Jobs invented the iPhone, opened the mobile Internet, a telecommunications equipment network opened up, we buy more equipment, we make more money, on the survival to today.
7, Damon Embling: It’s clear that Huawei has had great success in technology in the past. Today, Huawei has a strong presence in the Chinese market. How difficult was Huawei’s expansion in overseas markets before the recent U.S. trade dispute? Or do you think it’s going well all the time? After all, other countries have some views of China, which is sceptical.
Ren Zhengfei: Overseas market expansion, we do not have much difficulty before “5.16”, because the most important customer choice. Politicians may have different views, but customers have value for comment, is it good to use Huawei’s stuff? As you know, American politicians and leaders are lobbying hard in Europe, but European customers are buying our equipment. Allies’ point of view, so many big people pressure, customers also insist on buying, the customer still agree with us.
When there was no such pressure before “5.16”, the customer’s choice and use of our equipment was based on technology and services, and whether it would be beneficial to use it.
Damon Embling: The reason you mentioned just now is because of the customer’s support and the customer’s choice. But if the politicians and governments in their countries don’t allow Huawei’s devices to be sold there, and we see this happening in some countries and regions, how can Huawei overcome that?
Ren Zhengfei: If we don’t overcome it, we’ll give up the country, and we might give up this customer. We only choose to identify with our customers, do something, and do not require all countries, all customers to accept us. If all the clients listen to politicians, can it feed itself? It is not politicians who decide the fate of a business, but customers who buy goods that can be profitable for it to survive.
8, Damon Embling: Now that the U.S. and China have a trade dispute, Huawei is involved. The U.S. government has also accused Huawei of spying against other countries through telecommunications networks, through its own communications equipment and its own technology. Has Huawei ever conducted espionage against other countries or Huawei customers?
Ren Zhengfei: First of all, the Sino-US trade dispute has nothing to do with us, because we have no sales in the United States, so the U.S. cyber security has nothing to do with us, information security has nothing to do with us. As it turns out, u.S. networks and information would still be insecure without Huawei.
Secondly, for three decades, we have served more than 170 countries and 3 billion people, and so far no event has proved that we have similar problems. If something like this had happened, the United States would have been on the table to show the EU evidence. History has shown that we have not done this, and we have no motive to do such a thing.
Third, what about the future? The EU has reported that Huawei’s 5G technology is very advanced, but it is also concerned about the risks in non-technical factors. So we are committed to complying with all relevant EU legal requirements, committing our governments in advance to “what or not” and then being audited by that country, which will lead to a gradual increase in trust. The UK is the most regulated country, we trust the UK, Germany, we are open to scrutiny, they are concerned about our problems and they are critical of what we are not doing well enough, but we have also built trust in us. Prior commitments, post-audits, in line with the EU’s management requirements for us. We respect EU rules, why are there no market opportunities?
Damon Embling: What you just said was that Huawei had never been a spy in the past, never received a request to spy, and would not be spying in the future, did you?
Ren Zhengfei: Yes, certainly not, and will not.
Damon Embling: But it’s tempting to do these things. After all, information and data are now described as “new oil”.
Ren Zhengfei: First, we recognize the digital sovereignty of each country, data sovereignty in the country in which it is located, not in us, we have no use taking the data. If you do something like this, it’s going to be exposed all over the world once, and customers don’t buy our equipment, and the company goes bankrupt. The staff are gone, leaving me to pay my debts, can I afford it?
Damon Embling: Maybe Huawei did it but hid it?
Ren Zhengfei: What do you do to hide? There is no motive or necessity, nor is there such a possibility. Just like selling cars, I sell them to you. We give equipment to operators, operators are operating, subject to the supervision of the country in which it is located, we have no access to data, how to take data? We don’t have data, and we don’t need it.
9, Damon Embling: Whether the U.S. is right or wrong, Australia has banned Huawei devices, the U.K. hasn’t made a final decision, and other countries have doubts about how Huawei works. As I just said, right lying, the series of allegations against China by the United States is still quite serious?
Ren Zhengfei: I don’t think it’s as much damage, it’s not that much of an impact. In turn, so many politicians lobbying around the world, but also to Huawei has a positive impact, “Huawei was so strong, but also need the United States so powerful force to suppress, that equipment must be good, buy quickly, worry about the future can not buy.” Recent visits to our customers have increased by 69%, why? Just to see if Huawei’s equipment can survive without American parts. You also visited today, and without American parts, we’re still doing well. These goods to customers, customers installed, the trial is also very good. In the absence of U.S. components, we are able to continuously supply customers with a significant increase in customer trust. In fact, the United States to us to do advertising, I do not think the U.S. crackdown is to give us a resistance.
Damon Embling: So you don’t think it’s going to pose a financial risk to Huawei, don’t you think ordinary people and consumers have lost trust in Huawei?
Ren Zhengfei: We will not have financial risk, the growth rate may be good.
First, because employees have an existential crisis and pressure, before they were a bit lazy, now not idle, but more efforts, so that production capacity increased. This is the internal reason.
Second, external causes. Some customers don’t buy our equipment, we can understand, but there are still a lot of customers to buy our equipment, because we have many unique advantages, these advantages are the reason why customers continue to buy. Later I will send you a CD, is China’s 70th anniversary National Day party, tens of thousands of people animation-style performance, is broadcast through 5G technology, the playing process without any caton, you media people a look to know our level. Retransmission uses our 5G base station, very small, with a backpack on the back, does not require a wire connection. Practice has proved that we are a world leader on this issue, so we have ample opportunity not to worry about customers not using our equipment, but worried about too many customers to buy, supply can not do? We also ask Chinese customers not to buy so much, to ensure that foreign customers first use our equipment, because we are more difficult abroad.
Therefore, first of all, we will not have financial difficulties, secondly customer trust will improve, customers to look at our base station, or buy back to install after a look, our base station is very good, no U.S. parts.
Damon Embling: You just mentioned that you’re not overly worried about the situation, but because of the measures taken by the U.S., Huawei can’t use Google services if it releases its latest smartphone overseas (in Europe and elsewhere), which will certainly affect users’ willingness to buy Huawei phones, isn’t it? Therefore, it should have an impact on China.
Ren Zhengfei: First, there will be no shock, because we and Google are still very friendly, we have a lot of agreements. Second, our mobile phone has many features, Google services in some areas can not be used, but those customers still like our phone’s other business. Total terminal sales this year are expected to exceed 240 million units, or there will still be a significant increase, the impact on us will not exceed 10 billion U.S. dollars. For our company, a $10 billion increase in sales revenue is not a big deal, so we don’t think there’s much of a problem. Ecological problems, we can spend two or three years to overcome obstacles, we are confident.
10. Damon Embling: Now the U.S. has blacklisted Huawei from the U.S. market. How does Huawei intend to engage with the U.S. government to address this issue?
Ren Zhengfei: First, we didn’t negotiate with the U.S. government, we fought the U.S. government in court. We think it’s evidence-based in court to solve this problem.
Second, it is also impossible for the U.S. government to remove the entity list. Therefore, we must adapt to the long-term repression of the United States Government under the living environment, this must be prepared. But as a result, it is American companies that end up hurting. Huawei serves 170 countries and 3 billion people around the world, and it is not in the interest of U.S. companies to lose many markets, especially the Chinese market, without supplying us to us.
Damon Embling: Looks like you’re determined. I mean, the United States does have a lot of influence around the world, and what would you say to Donald Trump if you had the opportunity to communicate?
Ren Zhengfei: I didn’t have a chance to communicate with him.
Damon Embling: What would you say to him if given the chance?
Ren Zhengfei: Assuming an opportunity, I would say, don’t let U.S. companies lose the Chinese market, enter the Chinese market well in order to improve the business of U.S. companies, in order to profit from globalization. What do the United States do not want to sell to China and put it at home? Apple must be sold to everyone to eat, we pay you dollars, if the apple in their own warehouse, a long time will rot, others will not buy. The U.S. government needs to really consider the interests of U.S. companies, not lose the Chinese market, globalization is good for the United States. If the United States abandons globalisation, it will give Europe a huge opportunity.
11. Damon Embling: The trade war between China and the United States is still going on, and it’s clear that the two countries are still negotiating on this issue. How do you think you got to this point today, but also involved in Huawei? What do you expect from trade dispute resolution between China and the United States? In your opinion, if this problem can be solved?
Ren Zhengfei: I don’t care what the Sino-US trade dispute is, what process of negotiations, because we are zero sales in the United States, China and the United States talk well we do not sell, talk bad lying we have no loss, why care about their negotiation process? This is a problem between the two governments, and I only solve the relationship between our company and our American companies and customers around the world.
Damon Embling: But it’s a broader war of words, and you’ve become part of it.
Ren Zhengfei: A war of words is useless. If China buys some American soybeans, will the U.S. sell us some chips? Without this, it is not important to buy some soybeans, without soybeans to eat less oil, can’t the country survive? I don’t think there’s any problem.
12, Damon Embling: The challenges and difficulties that the United States has brought to Huawei have extended to your family. Your daughter Meng Isnight Boat is now in Canada. The U.S. has previously issued an arrest warrant for her for allegedly concealing links between Huawei and a company that apparently supplied Huawei equipment to Iran. It is clear that such acts violate existing sanctions against Iran. How’s your daughter doing? How worried are you about this?
Ren Zhengfei: We believe that Canada’s national laws are fair, fair and transparent, and we will have to look at the evidence and believe in the Canadian justice system. There are no other ideas at the present.
Damon Embling: Is she innocent?
Ren Zhengfei: Of course.
Damon Embling: But you used to say that if she did go to prison, she would study in it. Do you think she’ll go to jail?
Ren Zhengfei: I didn’t say she might go to jail, it was that she was studying under house arrest on bail.
Damon Embling: How’s she doing now? How worried are you about her situation as a father?
Ren Zhengfei: She is now on bail and is under house arrest. She’ll set her own schedule, she’ll be more colorful, she’ll be in touch with the community and the Canadian public, and she’ll be normal.
13. Damon Embling: Given your daughter’s situation, considering the U.S. trade blacklist with Huawei, do you really not think Huawei Tower will be dumped?
Ren Zhengfei: I think Huawei could grow faster. Because most of our employees have been struggling for three decades and the economy has improved a lot, people’s instincts are to seek a comfortable life, not to strive for it. A big stick in the United States down, we feel the crisis, the spirit of struggle more forward, reflected in our sales revenue should have declined, but the results increased. It should be said that Huawei “building” will not have the “will pour” problem. You also see, Huawei in all regions of the production normal, so many employees normal to and from work, canteen meals are full, people’s wages have not changed. But my concern is, after everyone’s hard work, so that the company’s profits increasetoo, how to solve? This is a real problem. We are not shrinking now, but profitgrowth is growing too fast, and we still have to solve the problem of increased strategic investment in the future.
Damon Embling: How important do you think employees are to China? How important is Huawei’s operations and performance to its employees, most of its shares are held by employees?
Ren Zhengfei: I don’t think it has much to do with employees’ holdings and employees’ efforts, which are based on a sense of mission, not entirely economic ally. We implement virtual restricted shares, is to allow employees to share the value of past labor, can not say that the bonus is over, because the labor contribution will extend for many years to generate value, with “shares” this way so that employees because of yesterday’s work to get a return. This is only to play a reasonable role in compensation, the struggle or rely on a sense of mission, not on the money to motivate. Our sense of mission has not diminished, but has strengthened.
Damon Embling: What kind of boss are you?
Ren Zhengfei: I am a boss without a level, I do not understand finance, do not understand management, also do not understand technology. In fact, I do not understand specific things, there are many capable experts, managers in the operation of the company.
Damon Embling: Given Huawei’s current growth trend, it’s amazing to hear you say that.
Ren Zhengfei: This year’s growth has objective factors, because the first half of the year was not hit by the United States, “5.16” before the normal growth. After the “5.16” blow, we actively patched the “hole” process, although some recession, but we quickly fill the “hole” after maintaining reasonable growth. The first half of the year was not hit by the list of U.S. entities, and the second half was hit. Next year will be under the hit until the whole of the U.S. entity list, but we will continue to do well next year. Welcome to come again at the end of next year.
Now that Huawei’s total workforce has grown to 194,000, we are confident about next year as we add a lot of excellent employees and a significant increase in the number of people who have added a lot of people to repair the trauma that the United States has inflicted on us. By the end of next year, you are welcome to take a look at our actual operation.
14. Damon Embling: Looking ahead, 5G is clearly a big chunk of Huawei’s business map. This is how I felt after visiting Huawei headquarters. For many technology companies, 5G is also very important. Do you think 5G is a real game-changer? How will it affect and change people’s lives?
Ren Zhengfei: For the role of 5G, in fact, the difference between ordinary roads and highways is the same concept. Ordinary highwaycan can take cars, highways can also take cars, but the highway to go faster. 5G brings large bandwidth, low latency, the information society, artificial intelligence has a supporting role, 5G itself does not directly produce value to society, but the supportof information system has great value for future progress.
Damon Embling: Everyone’s watching our show. How will 5G change their lives? Because 5G enables a wide variety of new technologies that can be applied to every aspect of life, such as public services, transportation, and even health, what can change people’s lives?
Ren Zhengfei: For example, it shows what 5G is worth, although this example may not be easy to achieve. The Airbus 320 has 17 tons of signal cable, if not in the future, the use of direct wire connection, but wireless connection of the aircraft’s various equipment, so that Airbus significantly reduced weight, reduced fuel, improve the flight conditions, and produce great value. We joked about the Airbus 320 program.
For example, full coverage of the home, the past home with a lot of wire cloth broadband system, now do not need, only a small wireless box, the home is fully covered, this is the simplest impact of life. For example, install a small base station on the engineering machinery, which connects the whole project control to the machinery.
5G low latency can mainly solve the problem of self-driving and other scenarios, for industrial automation improvements, how to improve life in the future will be more than imagined, there are now some early impact. For example, to operate a machine and equipment thousands of kilometers away, you in the media know that there is a delay. If the machine is sometimes delayed, it will be operated by mistake. 5G has a delay of only 1 millisecond or less, enabling remote real-time manipulation of machinery. These applications will make a huge difference to humanity, but it’s just a few ideas.
How to create more value to society of 5G? Millions of companies will have to work together. We’re just providing a fertile “black land” of what crops are growing, or are we going to rely on innovative companies.
Damon Embling: That’s where the risks lie, 5G and 5G enable a range of technologies that will generate more information and data that must be used safely, which will actually change people’s lives, right?
Ren Zhengfei: Any new thing will not be unilateralvery very good or bad, it has a good side, there is a bad side. How to carry forward the good side, so that the bad place to control and suppress, this is the correct treatment of new things. New things are not inherently perfect.
Damon Embling: The European Union recently released a report on 5G and cyber security. The report notes that the risk of an attack on the network may be higher due to the emergence of 5G. These attacks may have come from actions supported by non-EU countries or states. The EU is obviously very concerned about 5G security, but it recognises the potential of 5G and wants to take advantage of this opportunity. So, in reality, how risky is 5G?
Ren Zhengfei: How risky is a car? The car is driving too fast and too fierce, and it can turn over, but it’s going to be steady and it can take people to a good place. The truth is the same, anything is not pure good, simple bad, the key lies in management.
The EU has also seen many good things, and bad things, about how to manage and control it, not reject new things.
15, Damon Embling: The EU takes privacy very seriously and has introduced new rules on data protection. People are also concerned about how their information and data are being used. At the same time, there are concerns that some countries are using the Internet or social media and your devices to interfere in the affairs of other countries. There are some serious concerns in Europe right now. What does Huawei, as an industry giant, want to say something to the European people so that we consumers can rest assured?
Ren Zhengfei: It’s understandable to worry, including that I’m worried that I’m on the phone every day and don’t know if someone in the U.S. is listening. We comply with EU cyber security regulations, comply with the GDPR rules, comply with all EU regulations, so that the people of Europe can rest assured that, of course, the rest of the time and practice need to test, we can now commit to comply with the EU regulations, respect the digital sovereignty of the country, this is unshakable.
Damon Embling: In the next few months to years, the EU will gradually deploy 5G. The EU also wants to establish its position in 5G applications and in the corresponding security management mechanisms. What kind of relationship does Huawei want to build with the EU on 5G and other future digital technologies?
Ren Zhengfei: First of all, we respect and support the EU’s digital sovereignty strategy. Under the foundation of digital sovereignty, we strive to implement AI in Europe, to put the intelligent computing system based on the ARM framework, the Atlas deep learning system we have… Open to Europe open source, to Europe’s small and medium-sized companies to provide innovative platforms and resources to support the European Union or a European country to establish their own digital ecology, resulting in a win-win situation.
Second, we can also invest in small and medium-sized companies in Europe, support and guide them forward, rather than our exclusive victory. We have built a “black land” in Europe, where crops are grown by a large number of European companies. What we are trying to do is to gradually promote the digital ecological construction in Europe.
Damon Embling: The EU has had a lot of difficulties lately, and to be honest this includes a little identity crisis. There are deep political divisions within the EU. From your personal point of view, how difficult is it for Huawei to break through a european market because of the current state of the EU and the recent series of events that make it difficult for member states to reach a consensus?
Ren Zhengfei: I don’t think it’s going to be very difficult to solve this problem. The most important thing is to do their own thing well, so that customers really trust us. We will not intervene in these disputes, and we will not choose a sideline in politics, that is, to do their own thing, there is no difficulty.
16, Damon Embling: One of the biggest political earthquakes within the EU is Brexit. If the UK does leave the EU, how do you think the SINO-British relationship will develop in the future? From a business perspective, what do you want the future of trade, business and economic relations between China and the UK?
Ren Zhengfei: whether Brexit, Britain’s prosperity or the British people to work hard, not Brexit to work hard, mainly because of the British side’s own role, the external environment is not as serious as imagined. The world needs to trade with each other, China still wants to buy more European aircraft, Europe to produce more aircraft, in order to meet China’s needs, buy more European machinery and equipment, cars . . . these are to Europe, Britain provide a great opportunity to fight for each other. The relationship between governments is to establish the environment, the environment and their own specific trade relationship, but the relationship is not very important.
Damon Embling: As a big telecoms company, is Huawei worried about the impact of Brexit? Or do you think Brexit will open up new opportunities for companies like Huawei?
Ren Zhengfei: I don’t think Brexit has any impact on China. What has an impact on China is the number of people, if the population does not change, we all want to communicate, we have not much impact. Because Brexit and Brexit are the decision of the people of this country, Huawei is simply adapting to the situation and trying to do the work they should do.
17. Damon Embling: Recently, there has been a clear continuing problem of unrest in Hong Kong. From a business perspective, to what extent are you concerned about the impact of instability in Hong Kong on Huawei’s business and in the region?
Ren Zhengfei: Hong Kong’s influence on the Mainland and the world is not as great. Hong Kong has a capitalist system, which is different from the socialist system on the mainland and therefore does not affect the change in the political situation within the mainland.
The people of Hong Kong have the right to march freely and freely in accordance with the law, but they are not free to destroy other people’s property and destroy public property. If you go to this situation, in fact, it goes the other way, a lot of middle people will not follow you, will be separated from you, these troubled people will eventually be socially isolated. I think it is important to use words to communicate calmly and express your will, which is an important part of capitalist democracy. No country supports such beatings, smashes, and grabbing things.
18, Damon Embling: Now I want to look to the future. You’re 75 years old this year, but you’re still running the company as CEO. What do you think about the development of Huawei’s company in the next few years? What are the goals? How do you do that?
Ren Zhengfei: In fact, Huawei is operating to this day, I have no specific operation, but the company has a veto. But I haven’t vetoed it for years, and the company is running properly, with little to do with my age.
I don’t have much to do now, i’m in good health, the public relations department let me give them a job, meet the reporter. I didn’t see a reporter in the past, but now I’m taking more time to meet with the reporter. The fate of the company is not tied to me personally, do not worry about the company’s sustainable development.
Damon Embling: You say the fate of the company is not personal, but from the current situation, some people will say that Huawei’s fate is still unknown. Some say the Chinese government interfered with Huawei’s operations, and Huawei was spying, and Huawei was untrustworthy. What do you want to say to such a critic?
Ren Zhengfei: I don’t want to say anything to them, they’d better wait for the test of practice and look at it again.
Damon Embling: As I mentioned earlier, you’re 75 years old and still running this company. Although I think you have weakened your role in the company, it is clear that you have been at the helm of the company for many years, and you are still behind many of the company’s successes. What are your personal plans for the future? At what time would you really quit?
Ren Zhengfei: First, in our company, my own power is limited, power can not be free to do what it wants; I personally seem to be at work every day, in fact, in the form of work, and did not directly operate the company. There’s a veto hanging over it, as if I have power, but I haven’t used it. Therefore, in the future any one person in the company can play my puppet image, as long as they are willing to retreat to my position, he will become a puppet. Because I’ve been in this position, it looks like our company hasn’t changed for 30 years, and in fact the personnel below us are changing. Whether I exist will not affect the actual operation of the company.
Damon Embling: Are you not responding directly to the question when to step down?
Ren Zhengfei: First, when my way of thinking is in a barrier, and second, when the U.S. government approves that I can retire. Now the company in a state of crisis, sometimes I still need to do a puppet, come out to meet the reporter.
Damon Embling: Would you describe yourself as a workaholic because you’re fully committed to the development of the company? You mentioned before that you didn’t have much time with your children and had experienced divorce. Do you think your current success has been achieved at the expense of family? Do you regret this?
Ren Zhengfei: This is a pity. Because in the early struggle, I went to Africa, Latin America for a few months, came back within two days and left. At that time to survive and struggle, did not have time to spend with his wife, also do not remember to buy gifts for my wife, do not remember to buy gifts for children. Once to the child bought a gift, the daughter said “after you do not buy a gift for your mother, I firmly do not want your gift”, which gave me a wake-up call, the original responsibility to the family or not enough. Many regrets about the family now can still be remedied, but I failed to take care of parents, it is impossible to remedy, “the son wants to care for the parents but they are gone”, which is a great regret for my life. But everyone will have regrets, not everyone has a perfect life, regret is useless, only to continue to move forward.
If the company suffers a greater setback or collapse, the regret left behind is actually greater than the other regret. Now we are working together to row this “boat”, although I am old and weak, but also a row. When I was young, every sport was involved, called disorder, but did not meet the standards of low-level athletes, are almost a bit, this is a regret of life. Now that I can’t move and I’m in a physical condition, I’ll be smart about it. Society to rest assured that I will not dedicate my life to Huawei, did not think, or leave a little time to travel.
Damon Embling: You said before that your children are not qualified to run Huawei, who do you think is the right person to replace you? Would you like to see who will replace you in the future?
Ren Zhengfei: I’m talking at the 4th Employees’ Congress, and I’m asking the Public Relations Department to give you a copy later, and that speech has made it very clear how Huawei is an institutional shift. If we say the shift, in fact, we have been completed for many years, not the shift now. The company has been running, I’m just a puppet hanging in the middle. Don’t worry about the problem.
Damon Embling: But you’re not going to make Huawei your family business?
Ren Zhengfei: My family did not get much benefit, why assume such a big responsibility? In the future, there should be a capable person to take on this responsibility, from wisdom, ability, moral character to determine whether he can take on more mission, which has nothing to do with my family.