Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei believes the company can become the world’s No.1 smartphone manufacturer, despite the fact its remain cut off from Google’s software and applications.
The Chinese ICT behemoth is already the global incumbent when it comes to telecommunications equipment and has positioned itself as the leader in 5G technology.
According to ICT analysts Huawei was on course to overtake South Korean powerhouse Samsung as the No.1 seller of smartphones this year, before being hit with sanctions by the United States.
The US Commerce Department slapped Huawei on their trade blacklist and prohibited tech giants such as Google, Intel and Broadcom from selling to Huawei unless they obtained a government license to do so.
The decision has impacted Huawei’s overseas market share with many of its customers now becoming increasingly wary of purchasing a smartphone that doesn’t have access to the Google Play Store.
However, as always, Huawei’s leader was defiant and said he still firmly believes it will be the world’s leading smartphone brand, and that the issues with the US and Google will only serve to delay its ascension to the top.
Ren told CNN Business, “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem, it’s just going to take us a little more time.” Huawei’s CEO has repeatedly said he would prefer to work with Google if it is possible to do so in the future, but declared that it is already working on a large-scale back-up plan in the likelihood that it doesn’t happen.
“If Huawei can’t work with US suppliers then we will have to resort to alternatives. If those alternatives become mature, I think it’ll become less likely to switch back to previous versions,” Ren said.
Huawei has been developing its own operating system, called Harmony, as well as an app store. But Huawei has just 45,000 apps available for download. That compares with about 2.8 million in the Google Play Store, according to market data company Statista.
Huawei’s founder also expressed a believe that the US will reman the global hub of innovation for decades to come, but warned that its policy towards Huawei is impacting US businesses in a negative way.
He said, “It is a critical moment for all of us, and I hope the US government can consider what’s best for American companies.”