Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei believes his company has withstood the challenges posed by a US entity list ban last year, emerging as a stronger organisation and one committed to international cooperation. The CEO’s comments were made around a panel session held at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which began on January 21 under the theme “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”.
Zhengfei said his company has “basically stood the challenges” posed by the current US administration, including being placed on an export blacklist and targeted on various fronts in recent months. “This year the US might further escalate their campaign against Huawei, but I feel the impact against Huawei would not be very significant,” he said. “I am confident we can survive future attacks.”
Zhengfei added that Huawei has spent billions to prepare a “plan B,” which has allowed the company to survive the US entity ban. “This year in 2020, since we already gained experience from last year and we got a stronger team, I think we are more confident that we can survive even further attacks,” he added.
The executive’s comments come at a time when Huawei leadership estimates that its global sales revenue will have topped USD122 billion in 2019, an increase of roughly 18% year-on-year.
Speaking at Davos, the CEO also made note of his respect for American companies and championed international cooperation. “Huawei used to be an admirer of the US, we learned a lot from them. We hired dozens of American consulting firms to learn how to manage our business. The US should feel proud of [Huawei], they have the US management system exported and implemented. They should not be overly concerned about Huawei and our position in the world.”
Huawei was recently ranked fifth on the 2019 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard as one of the biggest investors in research and development worldwide. As a result of its R&D investment focus, Huawei has been able to lead the development of 5G technologies globally, and more than 700 cities and 228 Fortune Global 500 companies have chosen Huawei as their digital transformation partner.