Ren Zhengfei (born October 25, 1944) is a Chinese entrepreneur and engineer, who is the founder and CEO of Huawei, the world's largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment and second largest manufacturer of smartphones.
Interview with BBC (February 18, 2019)
- There's no way the US can crush us. The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit.
- If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. And if the North goes dark, there is still the South. America doesn't represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world.
- The Chinese government has already clearly said that it won't install any backdoors. And we won't install backdoors either. We're not going to risk the disgust of our country and of our customers all over the world, because of something like this. Our company will never undertake any spying activities. If we have any such actions, then I'll shut the company down.
The US cannot crush us, says Huawei founder (February 18, 2019)
Interview with CNBC (October 4, 2019)
- I can summarize the painful lesson in one sentence: We must not slack off or allow mediocrity, and we must remain dedicated and inspire passion throughout the organization.
- It’s possible that having a strong competitor would encourage us to compete better.
- We want to remain open minded, and keep pursuing economic globalization. Even if we are not taken out of the entity list, for some American companies, the things they sell are not important. Why can’t they sell them? Only a very small portion of U.S. products are related to security. If you prevent all companies from selling to foreign countries, this is not beneficial to the U.S. Should the ban be lifted one day, we would still buy from these companies.
- I hope people will forget me. It is a waste to remember me. I hope they can stop thinking about me. If they remember me and turn this into a game to see who is more loyal, that will turn into a burden. They can look into the sky when they remember me. I don’t want them to think about me and it is too tiring for them to remember me.
CNBC Transcript: Ren Zhengfei, Founder & CEO, Huawei (October 4, 2019)
Interview with CNN (March 14, 2019)
- Be straightforward and ask any questions you want. I will be very frank in my answers, including with any of your trickier questions. Don't worry. I like how frank Americans are. You aren't afraid to ask any question you want. I was a fan of the US when I was young. Today, I still believe the US is a great nation. Your advanced institutions, flexible innovation mechanisms, clearly-defined property rights, and respect and protection of individual rights have attracted the world's best talent to invest and innovate in the US. Billions of people have participated in this process. Without your openness, you wouldn't have been able to develop into the world's strongest power in just over 200 years.
- I've always been a pretty open person, actually, but I like to focus on internal management more than external publicity. I really get US culture, and many of our company's management systems were inspired by those in the US.
- I hope that the Chinese government can open the Internet sector to the rest of the world, just like they did in the manufacturing sector. I am open to this idea and fully support it. However, I cannot speak on behalf of the Chinese government. These are just my own comments.
- A famous person once said that the easiest way to bring down a fortress is from within and the easiest way to reinforce it is from outside. Our fortress has let its guard down, and complacency has kicked in. But pressure from the US has forced us to be united and stick together. We're united as one now, and we're determined to make better products. This has eased the burden on me personally, because our people are working harder than ever before. They're out there clamoring louder than I am, so I can relax a bit and have more time to speak highly of the US.
Ren Zhengfei's Interview with CNN (March 14, 2019)
Interview with CNN (November 26, 2019)
- Well, since day one, we have always been a strong supporter of globalization in our operations, so that we can serve the global community by collaborating across the global value chain. A long time ago, however, we realized that there would be all kinds of uncertainties and conflicts between the US and Huawei. We needed to be prepared, so that we wouldn't collapse and could be self-reliant when the US chose not to sell to us. Today, I can say that it won't be a problem for us to survive short term, but I'm concerned whether we will still be a global leader in three to five years. We will delve deep into this topic, and it has become part of our agenda.
- We firmly embrace global supply chains. We welcome US companies to increase their supplies to Huawei, and will use their supplies wherever possible. This will ensure shared success between Huawei and US companies. If US companies are not allowed to supply their products to us, we have our alternatives. If those alternatives become mature and stable, I don't think it's very likely that we will go back to US companies.
- Technology is increasingly complex. So technological expertise is more important than trust, because without expertise, products cannot be made, and trust will be meaningless. When a product is made, there will always be someone who will trust it despite what others say. Countries that have decided to use the product will find that it helps with their economic development, and this will remind everyone else that if they don't use this technology, they will be left behind.
- Huawei is a company, not a political entity. We aim to provide high-quality information services to humanity. With this ideal in mind, we work even in the toughest environments, such as high mountains, rainforests, and many remote areas in Africa.
- I personally believe that politics and the economy can be and should be separated.
- Huawei has no access to the data and we don't need the data. So from this point of view, what the US has been saying just doesn't hold up. It's like trucks. Trucks can be used to do bad things. What to transport in a truck is up to the driver, not the truck maker. You can't blame the truck maker for any bad things that are done using the truck. The same applies to us. We are like a truck maker.
Ren Zhengfei's Interview with CNN (November 26, 2019)
Interview with the Economist (September 10, 2019)
- Economic globalization can bring substantial benefits to all of humanity. This is because it will play a significant role in driving the optimal allocation of resources and reduction of service cost, thereby accelerating the pace of social progress. Economic globalization was a concept put forward by Western countries. Their guiding principle was to allow the West to trade their advanced technology and equipment for developing countries' raw materials and cost-efficient labor forces. This enabled global trade. But the West did not expect that developing countries would slowly begin to move up the value chain with production of low-end products.
- We can license technologies and production techniques. Whoever gets the technologies can develop new things based on them.
- Academic freedom is the foundation of innovation. The freedom to have different academic ideas and to study whatever you want is very important. Undoubtedly, the US has the world's most innovation-friendly environment. Thanks to the Internet, people have easier access to information. Science and engineering papers have nothing to do with ideology, so they can be published and shared all over the world.
- If our engineers became politicians, Huawei would have collapsed. Engineers should focus on developing good products. They don't need to read about politics. What's the point of them caring about political issues? If our engineers are all out protesting, who is going to pay them?
A transcript of Ren Zhengfei’s interview (September 10, 2019)
Speech at Huawei’s internal online forum (June 26, 2021)
- Is China a part of the world? Yes. Therefore, our insistence on globalisation also includes the domestic market. We cannot be closed. We must stay open.
- Just because the US is trying to suppress us does not mean we do not recognize it as a teacher. This will lead to isolation.
- First of all, we must cooperate with sincerity. When there are difficulties, that means we have done something others cannot and proves our value.
- There has been no step forward in history that has been easy. We have gone through many twists and turns in the past century.