Exclusive interview of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei: Technological competition is a peaceful game
From the arrest of executives to leading 5G technology being blocked in the West, the continuous pressure has put Huawei under the spotlight. Ren Zhengfei, founder of the tech giant broke silence to raise voice for his company and himself in a rare exclusive interview with CCTV in Shenzhen.
Father and daughter
When asked about the detention of his daughter, the company's CFO Meng Wanzhou, Ren said he's confident the case would be resolved through legal channels.
"We've talked on the phone, and shared some jokes… the most important thing for children is to grow up and be independent. This is what parents want", Ren said.
Meng was arrested on December 1 in Canada for alleged violation of sanctions on Iran and then released on bail on December 12. She still awaits a hearing on extradition to the U.S. in February.
Confidence in technology and future
Despite the difficulties, Ren still keeps confidence in the company's cutting-edge technology. Ren said Huawei is the best in the area of 5G, and the only manufacturer in the world that is capable of equipping 5G base stations with the state-of-the-art microwave technology.
"The technology has been put into use in less developed countries, some of which are in Africa. In Western countries, many live in individual houses. Installing fiber-optic in every household is too expensive. Huawei provides small base stations that connect the neighborhood at an affordable price", Ren said.
European and American countries account for 60 percent of investment in telecommunications. When asked about how to cope with some countries' restrictions and bans on the company, Ren wasn't worried.
"If they don't buy it, it's their loss. We have many things that, in the end, Europe and the United States won't be able to avoid buying", he replied.
"Huawei began its research on 5G in 2009. At that time, Huawei was the 'challenger' among the global telecom companies. Its annual sales revenue was only 17 billion US dollars, one-sixth of its current revenue. In 2016, the polarization code scheme promoted mainly by Huawei, became the 5G coding scheme for enhanced mobile broadband. It was the first time a Chinese company had moved from concept research to development of standards and product chains", Ren said.
Basic research is the key
"This basic research will explore more for humankind… To build such a system, we have at least 700 mathematicians, more than 800 physicists, more than 120 chemists, over 6,000 specialists who are focusing on basic research, and more than 60,000 engineers", Ren said.
Media reports said that 45 percent of Huawei's 180,000 employees around the world are researchers. The company's annual investment in R&D is the equivalent of about 15 percent of its sales. In 2018, Huawei invested 15 billion U.S. dollars in R&D. And that number will reach 100 billion U.S. dollars in the coming five years.
In 1987, 44-year-old Ren Zhengfei, started Huawei from scratch, taking telecommunications as his main business. Today, Huawei has become the world's leading supplier of smart terminals for information and communication infrastructure.
The company is currently operating in 170 countries worldwide. It has signed 30 5G commercial contracts and delivered more than 25,000 5G base stations worldwide. Although Huawei has not been involved in any major security incident, some countries are still resisting Huawei's entry under the pretext of "network security."