The founder of Huawei is rallying staff to ‘ live or die ‘


Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei, told staff plans to go into “battle mode” to survive the ongoing disruption caused by a ban on dealing with US firms.

Earlier this year, on national security grounds, the US Department of Commerce effectively blacklisted the Chinese mobile giant, preventing American companies from doing business with the company.

Ren Zhengfei

Huawei has consistently rejected any charges of wrongdoing, while the US has never generated any proof to support its allegations that the networking equipment of the company poses a danger to national security.

Ren said in a memo to employees, seen by Reuters, that Huawei would invest in production equipment to ensure continuity of business, make certain roles redundant, and give more powers to frontline employees.

“The business is facing a time of live-or-die,” said the memo. “If you can’t do the job, then make way for our tank to roll; and if you want to come to the battlefield, you can tie a rope around the’ tank’ to pull it away, that’s what everyone needs!”Ren also called on Huawei to do its best to meet previous sales targets of approximately $125 billion, but admitted that the company’s most recent quarterly results–which, despite the ban, saw a 23% increase in revenue–did not reflect the current situation. He suggested the figures were helped by timely payment by sympathetic Chinese clients.


Washington has offered some wiggle room, allowing Huawei to supply certain suppliers with technology to serve U.S. rural operators using their equipment. The US government has now expanded this agreement for another 90 days, but has added more than 40 Huawei divisions to the “non-entity” list as well.

The discussion is taking place in the background of important trade tensions between the U.S. and China, leading some to think that the activities of the U.S. against Huawei are politically driven and that their stance can be altered if a trade agreement is concluded.

“This decision, made at this particular time, is clearly politically motivated and has nothing to do with national security,” a spokesman for Huawei said. “Striving to suppress the business of Huawei will not help the United States attain technological leadership. We are calling on the US government to stop this unfair treatment and remove Huawei from the Entity List.

“The choice of today will not have any significant effect on the company of Huawei either way. We will continue to focus on developing the best products possible and providing our customers around the world with the best possible services.

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