Technology Jan 22

Huawei founder praises US tech in first words since Biden took over 

The Chinese tech giant has endured a difficult relationship with America under Trump and now it has emerged its boss is full of admiration for his rivals – but whether that will win them a reprieve under the new administration remains to be seen 

by David Kirton
Huawei founder praises US tech in first words since Biden took over 
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei admires his US rivals, it has emerged. Photo: Reuters

The United States remains a "beacon of technology" to be emulated and Huawei Technology should consider cutting products in the wake of US actions against it, the Chinese firm's founder Ren Zhengfei has said.

Ren's comments, in a letter to staff last year, were shared for the first time on a company message board, making them the first public words from the company since Joe Biden took over the presidency from Donald Trump.

Huawei has remained largely silent about its prospects under the Biden administration, after being targeted with several rounds of sanctions under Trump, who said Huawei's equipment poses a security risk. The company denies the accusations.

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In a parting shot on Monday, the Commerce Department told semi-conductor makers it would deny or revoke licences for companies including chipmaker Intel Corp to sell products to Huawei, sources claimed.

Ren's letter said that US actions had left Huawei "with a great mismatch between our strategy and our abilities, and that the company will have to revaluate some product lines, and consider cutting some products and staff that are unproductive”.

The letter was posted after former Huawei sub-brand Honor announced new supply partnerships with major chip companies including Intel and Qualcomm that it had previously lost access to due to US actions against its one-time parent.

CHIPS ACCESS

Huawei sold Honor to a consortium of agents and dealers in November in a bid to help it regain access to chips.

Ren's letter also said that while the company will keep its pay structure unchanged over the next three to five years, hundreds of senior 'cadres' had voluntarily taken demotions.

The letter did not mention the Biden administration specifically, though analysts have said the company will need a reprieve from Washington to revive its hobbled phone and 5G infrastructure businesses.  

"The United States is still the world's beacon of technology, and we must learn everything we can from advanced people," Ren said.

  • Reuters

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