Last week, Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, gave a rare interview with international media.
On January 15, Ren Zhengfei was interviewed by the media at his headquarters in Shenzhen. Picture from Visual China
On January 21, the Observer Network obtained the relevant interview summary, the full text is as follows:
1. Joseph Waring, MobileWorldLive: How did your experience in the army affect your management style in Huawei? Now Huawei is facing more censorship around the world. To what extent do these links between Huawei and the military affect Huaweis future?
Ren Zhengfei: When I joined the army, China was in the turbulent era of the Cultural Revolution. The operation of industry and agriculture had been totally chaotic. The country was in extreme difficulties. The Chinese people faced great difficulties in eating and dressing. Once in 1962, each of us had about one third of a meter of cotton cloth each year, which was used to mend clothes. So when I was young, I didnt wear decent, patched clothes.
At that time, the central government hoped that every person in China could wear a new suit every year. It introduced the worlds most advanced chemical equipment from the French company Debniz Spessim and set up a large chemical fibre factory. It hoped to provide a suit of chemical fibre clothes for everyone through the production of chemical fibers. The conditions of this chemical fibre factory were very difficult on the banks of the Prince River in Liaoyang. At that time, China was totally chaotic and could not mobilize the local engineering team. The local engineering team refused to go to that difficult place, so the central government could only transfer the army to build this chemical fibre factory.
At that time, the engineering ability of the army was relatively low, and college students like me, who had just graduated, were used. When the troops entered the construction site, tens of square kilometers of the site, there was no house, all the troops slept on the grass, which was in July and August. Later, the factory allocated funds to build a large number of Adobe houses, leaking air and water. My experience during that period is: first, I have been exposed to the most advanced technology in the world; second, I have suffered the greatest pain in the world. At that time, the level of automatic control of this chemical fibre factory in France was very high. At least there was no such advanced factory in China at that time. This was the first time that I knew what the worlds advanced technology was and learned to bear hardships. We live in this kind of Adobe house, which is neither frost-proof nor windproof. The lowest temperature can reach minus 28 degrees. At that time, China was in a very difficult period, with very little meat and oil supply. People in Northeast China supplied three or two cooking oils a month, equivalent to 150 grams. There is no fresh vegetable, these vegetables are in autumn pickled cabbage and radish with a large concrete pond, made into pickles and sour radishes, then eat pickles and sour radishes for half a year. The main food is sorghum, and its a terrible hybrid sorghum. As we learn the most advanced technology, we live the most primitive life. This is the experience of that period. To sum up with one word, it is two days of ice and fire.
But during that time, I had a very happy time. At that time, it was critical to read too much in other places. Only in this factory could we read a book, because we could not understand these modern equipments completely. At that time, I was a technician in the company. Because of my hard work, I was promoted to the vice-director of a small construction research institute with more than 20 people. The technical level was the vice-leader. Our dream at that time was to get a rank of Lieutenant Colonel and retire from the army before the reform and opening-up and disarmament. Unfortunately, it did not come true. So up to now, Im a veteran without a military rank.
2. Yuan Yang, Financial Times: According to the records, you participated in the Party Congress of the Communist Party of China in 1982. Why did you not participate in other Party Congresses? What is Huaweis relationship with the Communist Party of China?
Ren Zhengfei: During the construction of the most advanced chemical fibre factory, we lack an instrument to test the advanced equipment. A technician of Shenyang Institute of Automation has seen this instrument abroad and told me what it looks like. I deduced the design of the instrument by mathematical deduction, but I was not sure about the deduction. I consulted Professor Li Shijiu of Northeast University to determine whether my deduction was reasonable. With his approval, I invented the instrument. At that time, the country smashed up the Gang of Four and started economic construction. The country was looking for good cases to prove the usefulness of science and technology. My little invention was exaggerated as a big invention, and was widely promoted by various newspapers, magazines and movies. As a result of extensive publicity, I was lucky to be selected by the National Science Congress and attended the National Science Congress.
Everyone knows that in those days, not party members could not even serve as the head of the kitchen squad. I attended the National Science Congress, but I was not a party member. The superiors were very strange, so the organization helped me to become a party member. The reason why I couldnt join the Communist Party at that time was not my poor work performance, but my family. At that time, my father was put in a cowshed as a capitalist group. As we all know, the history of a revolutionary intellectuals is much more complicated than that of a cadre of workers and peasants. The strict examination of the Communist Party led to his failure to fight back for ten years, so I could not join the Party. After I joined the Party in 1978, when the state advocated the four modernizations of cadres (younger, more professional, more knowledgeable and more revolutionary), and when I met the requirements, I recommended me to participate in the twelfth general election, and I was elected. Unfortunately, at that time, I was too young to understand anything about the Partys great reform in this period. This is a great pity. I was a fool with a simple technical point of view at that time. I love my motherland and support the Communist Party of China forever, but I will never do anything to hurt any country in the world.
3. Associated Press Joe McDonald: We know youve been under a lot of pressure over the past two weeks or the last month or two, so thank you very much for communicating with us today. My problem is related to security. Recently, we have seen security concerns raised by many governments, including the United States and Australia. In fact, they do not doubt the reliability of Huaweis technology. Instead, they seem to worry about Huawei and even all Chinese companies. Because in China, after all, if the Communist Party requires enterprises to do something, they must obey. So I want to know how you can guarantee Huaweis foreign customers that Huawei can protect their network security and the confidentiality of their information. In addition, considering the legal environment in China, what are the restrictions on your guarantee?
Ren Zhengfei: First of all, over the past 30 years, Huawei has maintained a good safety record by serving more than 3 billion people in more than 170 countries. Secondly, Huawei is an independent business company. We stand firmly on the side of customers in terms of network security and privacy protection. We will never harm any country or anyone. Thirdly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has clarified that there is no legal requirement for enterprises to install backdoors. Huawei and I have never received any such request.
Associated Press Joe McDonald: Im sorry I didnt want to argue with you on this issue. But the U.S. government or the Australian government will say that you are selling network equipment to customers. When a customer chooses a manufacturer, he must trust you completely, because it puts the most confidential data of the operation of the entire national telecommunications network infrastructure in your hands. If Chinas Ministry of National Security finds Huawei and asks it to do something for them, what can Huawei do? What will Huawei do? To ensure that Huawei is not a danger to your customers or your country?
Ren Zhengfei: Then Ill sell you the company.
Associated Press Joe McDonald: I just bought a small Huawei product.
Ren Zhengfei: If you cant afford it, Ill shut down the company. We have made it clear that we are customer-centric and will never do anything harmful to our customers. I think Apple has set an example for us, and we will learn from Apple. When we are faced with infringing on the interests of our customers, we would rather close the company than be driven by the interests and do what we should not do.
4. Dan Strumpf, Huawei Street Journal: We know that your daughter was detained in Canada more than a month ago. Would you like to know how you feel about the whole thing? Second question, do you think Ms. Meng has become the target of this matter because she is one of your family members?
Ren Zhengfei: The matter of Meng Wanzhou has entered the judicial process, and I will not comment on it here. As the father of Meng Wanzhou, I am very concerned about her. Thank you very much for the justice of Judge William Ehrcke, Prosecutor John Gibb Carsley and Prosecutor Kerri Swift. Thank you for the humanized management of the Alouette Womens Prison in Canada and the kindness of prisoners towards the evening boat. I also thank the Chinese government for safeguarding Mengs rights and interests as a Chinese citizen and for providing consular protection to her. I believe that the legal systems of Canada and the United States are open, fair and just, and follow-up will lead to fair conclusions. After all the evidence of the event will be made public in the future, we will judge the matter again.
5. Bloomberg Plateau: As a father, what do you think of your daughter being treated like this? Is it because Meng is your family that the American and Canadian governments do this? Whats your own idea?
Ren Zhengfei: I didnt see the E-mail communication between the U.S. Justice Department and the Canadian Justice Department. If they open all the E-mail, I can guess if they are because of my daughter. So in the future, I will see the courts open their communication with each other before I know if its against my daughter.
6. CNBC Arjun Kharpal: Just now you answered the question from the Associated Press. You mentioned the example of Apple. I remember that it was an American agency that asked Apple to provide user data. Then Apple sued the court. Do you mean that? That is to say, if the Chinese government requests to extract data from Huaweis network, will Huawei also file an appeal? So the second question is, have you had some communication with the relevant government agencies in the United States? If so, what are the main aspects and contents?
Ren Zhengfei: First of all, we have no communication channels with the U.S. government and do not understand each other. As for the future, if there are network security issues, I have made it clear that we will never do anything against the interests of customers.
7. Wealth Eamon Barrett: Foreign concerns about Huaweis security are, on the one hand, due to your military experience, and on the other hand, due to the fact that the Chinese government holds Huawei more or less in some form. Huaweis publicity abroad is entirely employee-owned company, but it is a secret in terms of foreign ownership and structure. The publication or listing of information in this regard can largely alleviate this concern. Why is Huaweis shareholding structure so mysterious?
Ren Zhengfei: As you can see, the success stories of capital-oriented companies are very few. Capital is greedy. If it has benefits, it will be taken away quickly and lose its pursuit of ideal. It is precisely because we are a private enterprise that we will pursue our ideals tirelessly. We have charged against a city wall entrance from hundreds of people. Thousands of people, tens of thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of people are still charged against the same city wall entrance. In view of this city wall, our annual R&D expenditure has reached US$15-20 billion, and the total R&D expenditure will exceed US$100 billion in the next five years. Capital companies are optimistic about a beautiful financial statement, we are optimistic about the future industrial structure, so our decision-making system is different, we are very simple, for human beings to enter the information society and struggle.
At the same time, we also tell you a message: our company has 96,768 shareholders. The other day, January 12, we completed the election of representatives of new shareholders in 170 countries and 416 polling places. This election process lasted a year. First, we publicized the governance charter to let employees understand what the governance structure of the company is, and then we selected candidates at different levels. All the candidates should self-publicize and strive for the shareholders to identify with him. He is not elected, but nominated. These nominations are then aggregated to a higher level of organization, and then more widely to win public opinion, to achieve a certain degree of convergence. After this convergence, the list will be deliberated and consulted by high-level organizations at all levels, listen to public opinions and surveys, and then converge again. Finally, it will report to the Electoral Commission, and then return to more than 200 people. Then it will be put on the information platform, solicit opinions publicly, and vote again. Determine the list of candidates.
On January 12, we completed the global vote. These days, messengers are flying back with these votes. The shareholdersCongress is the supreme authority of the company. The ownership of the company belongs to 96,768 shareholders, who are either Huawei employees or retirees who have worked in Huawei for many years. None of the non-Huawei employees hold a penny stock, none of the external institutions hold a penny stock, and none of the government departments has a penny stock. The company has a special warehouse for stock ownership data. Journalists are welcome to visit and spot check.
I didnt have money when I started my business. When I transferred from the army, my husband and wife received a demobilization fee of about 3,000 yuan altogether. At that time, Shenzhen required the minimum registered capital of the company to be 20,000 yuan. I got 21,000 yuan of capital by raising funds and registered the company. Today, I own 1.14% of the total shares in Huawei. I know that Jobsshare ratio is 0.58%. This shows that it should be reasonable for me to continue to decline in the number of shares. Learn from Jobs.
8. Yuan Yang, Financial Times: Last year, the communication of the AU Center was broken down. Huawei provided relevant equipment for the AU Building. How does Huawei respond to this? If any Chinese or foreigners break the law and commit crimes in China, they leave some clues in Huaweis mobile phone. Will Huawei cooperate with Chinese judicial organs to solve this problem? For example, whether Chinese or foreigners have violated the law overseas, what should Huawei do?
Ren Zhengfei: Whether Huaweis Chinese or non-Chinese employees violate local laws, we will cooperate with the judicial investigation. We firmly oppose any violation of the law by our employees. The company has a very large internal and external compliance management system to prevent these incidents, after violations, disciplinary departments to deal with. Huawei may be larger in the future, and the network society in the cloud age will be more complex. If we do not use discipline to restrain our behavior, we may be overwhelmed.
As for the breakdown of the AU network, it has nothing to do with Huawei.
9. Wealth Eamon Barrett: Following the disciplinary measures you mentioned earlier, an employee of Huaweis Polish subsidiary was arrested last week on suspicion of espionage. We now know that Huawei has fired this employee without waiting for any evidence or court trial. Considering Ms. Mengs case, which was detained in December, all Huaweis efforts seem to assume that Ms. Meng is innocent. Why are the two cases handled differently? Why were they fired directly in Poland and contested in Canada?
Ren Zhengfei: Both cases involve ongoing legal procedures. I cant express any more opinions except what the company has officially declared.
10. Bloomberg Plateau: Returning to Huaweis business level, I want to know how Huaweis business has been affected by the recent suspension of Huaweis equipment in some countries considering network security. What actions will Huawei take in the future, or what do you think Huawei should do to better conduct normal business in some developed countries, such as Europe and the United States, and Five-Eye countries in the future?
Ren Zhengfei: First of all, customers have accepted us, but also do not accept us. This problem does not exist only now, but also in the past. If we do not accept our opinions, only a few members of Parliament and officials, they do not represent the government regulations, we should actively communicate. If it goes up to government regulations, then we wont sell in this country.
Around the current controversy is 5G, below 4G everyone has not been controversial. We will continue to sell our products in undisputed areas. A few countries have decided not to buy our products, so we will do a good job in those countries that are willing to buy our equipment. We can show that we are trustworthy with excellent network. This is also a technological peace race. I think it is fair.
11. The Associated Press, Joe McDonald: We know that the Chinese government arrested two Canadians in the early days for national security reasons. Yesterday we saw a news report that the Chinese court sentenced a Canadian suspect of drug smuggling to death. Now some people outside China suggest that the two people arrested are essentially two hostages captured by the Chinese government in response to the arrest of your daughter, Ms. Meng, by the Canadian government, including the death penalty, which may also be affected by this matter, so they are similar. What do you think of the suggestion that the Chinese government is helping Huawei, whether its a company or a person, by seizing several hostages or by politically influencing drug smuggling cases?
Ren Zhengfei: I dont know the history of this matter.
12. Wall Street Journal Dan Strumpf: We see some new restrictions on the future development of Hua5G. The next step is likely to be more restrictive. Last week, Polish officials also said that NATO countries should issue a unified position against Huawei, so considering these possible restrictions, Huawei will have a large part of the market may not be able to enter. What does this mean for Huawei, whether from a business perspective or from a reputation perspective? How will Huawei deal with it in the future?
Ren Zhengfei: First of all, I dont know if the Polish proposal will work. Because Poland is a small country, can there be such a big push? Germany and France may have more influence. I dont know if Polish businesses can make a difference. Even if Poland can realize its idea, it doesnt matter to our company. Because Huawei is not a listed company, we dont need a beautiful financial statement. When these countries dont buy our products, we will shrink appropriately. As long as we can support our employees, we will have a future.
We spend $15 billion to $20 billion annually on R&D, ranking the top five in the world in terms of investment intensity. We have licensed 87,805 patents, of which 11,152 are core technology patents in the United States. We have participated in more than 360 standards organizations and contributed more than 54,000 proposals. Our capabilities in the field of communications are among the strongest in the world. So I believe that the countries that do not choose Huawei will be compared with those that choose Huawei in the future. We cant limit their choices.
Huawei has made a lot of efforts on 5G. Now it has signed more than 30 5G contracts, shipped 25,000 base stations and 2,570 5G patents. As long as we do our products well, there will always be people who want to buy them; if the products are not good, no matter how we publicize them, no one else will buy them. The only thing we can do is to simplify the internal management, let the internal focus on products and services, which is the way we really deal with the changing world.
There are only a few 5G manufacturers in the world, and not many microwave manufacturers. Only Huawei can combine 5G base station with the most advanced microwave technology. Base stations can use microwave ultra-wideband (UWB) to transmit back without optical fibers, which is a very economical and scientific way. It is especially suitable for the sparsely populated countryside. Dont think that the countryside is poor. A large number of villas in the United States are scattered high-end countryside. Without optical fiber, how does it watch 8K TV? If Huawei is not to be relied on, it will need a very high cost to achieve. It will not be the 5G banned by these countries, but the 5G sold to Huawei. Of course, Huawei is customer-centric and may still sell.
13. CNBC Arjun Kharpal: As you mentioned earlier, if the Chinese government asks you to provide data in the network or install backdoors in the equipment, you will definitely refuse to comply with such requirements. But we know that you are also a member of the Communist Party. How can you refuse the request of the government or the Party to you and how can you fight against it? For your customers, what kind of assurance do you give them, saying, I will not obey if something like this happens?
Ren Zhengfei: Our company is a commercial company. The values of the commercial company are customer-centered, so I must abide by the business rules. As for my personal political beliefs, they are not necessarily closely related to our business practices. So what I just said is very clear, that is, I will never do it. After todays interview is published in the newspaper, in the next 20 to 30 years, maybe when I am still alive, you will remember to use this sentence to verify my behavior.
CNBC Arjun Kharpal: And then, let me ask you a question. We mentioned Apples example before. They didnt comply with the governments demands. They even took the government to court. Does China have such a legal system to give Huawei such a possibility?
Ren Zhengfei: If I dont comply with the governments request, it should be the government to sue me, not me to sue the government. If the government doesnt tell me, I dont know.
14. Joseph Waring, MobileWorldlive: Now we see that the Sino-US trade war seems to be more than just a trade war. Some people even say that they have seen the beginning of a new cold war. In fact, in the past, we mainly looked at the wireless communication technology camp. One is GSM, the other is CDMA. Can you predict whether there will be two kinds of technology camps in the future: one is Chinese-led technology camp, and the other is American-led technology camp. For example, on mobile platform, we have Android platform and IOS platform.
Ren Zhengfei: Our world has gone through the era of narrow rail, standard rail and wide rail coexistence in the construction of railways, which has added a lot of trouble to the worlds transport industry. In the era of multi-standards in the field of communication, there are many additional costs for network construction, such as 3G and 4G. In order to make the communication network unified, we have reached a standard on 5G, which lays the foundation for welcoming human society to an intelligent society. If it is artificially divided into two worlds, I think it is harmful to the progress of the worlds intelligent society. The ideals of technological scientists and the wisdom of politicians will determine the future of human society. I personally strongly support the establishment of unified standards in the world.
15. Josh Chin, Wall Street Journal: There are Canadians detained in China, including sentenced to death. You just mentioned that it has nothing to do with Huawei, but some outside people think it has something to do with it. Do you think this incident will help Ms. Meng to be released or will it have a negative impact? In addition, how is your personal relationship with Ms. Meng? What is the projection of this relationship into Huaweis working environment?
Ren Zhengfei: First of all, I dont know the correlation between these events. We defend our rights through legal means in the Meng Late Boat Incident.
The relationship between our father and daughter is neither intimate nor intimate. The reason for the lack of intimacy is that I went to the army when my daughter was very young, 11 months a year without the children, and the remaining month of visiting relatives. When I was at home, they went to school, ate after school and did their homework. So in their childhood and youth, our connection was not close enough. The second period is the era of entrepreneurship, struggling for survival. I spent 16 hours a day in the office and couldnt take care of the family, so my three children and I were not close to each other. From the fathers point of view, I think I owe them. I once talked to them, and I asked, Is it better for Dad to play cat and cat with you every day as a child, or to create a platform to give you a chance like today? They said, Its better to create a platform, so they forgave that when I was a kid, I didnt take the time to catch cats and cats with them.
At work, we are a process company, let alone family relations. And I dont directly control Mengs work, so we dont have much communication. When I retire in the future, I will try my best to make up for the relationship.
16. Bloomberg Plateau: Then I just asked, do you have any plans to retire now? Two other questions about the United States, you said before that there is no good channel to communicate with the U.S. government. Now that so many foreign media are sitting here, if you want to have something to say to the U.S. government, what is the message you want to convey most? In addition, Trump tweeted earlier that if intervening in Mengs evening boat was good for Sino-US trade war negotiations, he would do it. What do you think of Trump?
Ren Zhengfei: First of all, my retirement depends on when Google invented a new drug to immortalize people. Im waiting for it.
The second question, if I want to say a word to the United States through the media, is win-win cooperation. Because in an increasingly high-tech world, it is increasingly impossible for a country or a company to accomplish a thing in its entirety. In the industrial age, a country can independently make a complete textile machine, a complete train, a complete ship, and the information society interdependence is very high, in order to promote faster progress of human society. The expansion of human information society in the future is infinite and huge, so any market opportunity can not be completed by a company independently, it needs tens of millions of companies to share.
Thirdly, I can only wait and see if President Trump says that we should keep Mengs boat affair under control, and I cant make a judgment now. In his personal opinion, I still think that President Trump is a great president who dares to cut taxes substantially, which is conducive to the development of American industry. With the large-scale use of artificial intelligence in industry and management, trade union issues, welfare issues, strikes in the past... It will be solved accordingly. Tax reduction is conducive to investment, equivalent to digging a depression, conducive to the flow of water. But only by treating all countries and companies well, can we actively invest and make good investments to compensate for tax cuts. If we frighten some countries, companies and people at any time, who dare to invest in the United States, the superior environment created by taxation will not play a role.
17. Yuan Yang, Financial Times: Many people think that the current US suspicion of China 5G is not only due to technical issues, but also political issues. Huawei has become the representative of the cold war between China and the United States. What do you think of this problem?
Ren Zhengfei: First of all, Huawei is not so great. How can the conflict between the two major plates of China and the United States make Huawei the little sesame in the middle? What role can we play? The Sino-US trade conflict has not had much impact on us so far. We expect it to grow in 2019, but the growth rate is not expected to exceed 20%.
Secondly, some people in the West now believe that Huawei has a conspiracy to operate its equipment. This ideology is similar to the destruction of textile machines during the Industrial Revolution. They believe that advanced textile machines have destroyed the world. Huawei sells a bare device that has no ideology. This device is controlled by the operator, not Huawei. So lets not go back to the era when the industrial revolution destroyed textile machines.
18. Fortune Eamon Barrett: There are two questions. You mentioned before that the interdependence of the entire telecommunications industry is very high. We also saw that ZTE closed down for quite a long time last year because of the export sanctions imposed by the United States. If the United States also imposed export controls on Huawei, would Huaweis business not work? The second question is, I heard that you met Jiang Zemin a long time ago when Huawei manufactured switches. You mentioned that telecommunication switches are closely related to national security. I would like to confirm with you whether there has been such a meeting. Is the telecommunication industry really closely related to national security?
Ren Zhengfei: First, over the years, we have invested so much in scientific research and made so many efforts. We are different from ZTE. There will be no such thing as ZTE. Huaweis policy and basic business principles are to abide by all applicable laws and regulations in the country where it operates, including those applicable to export control in the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. We have been committed to building and improving the compliance system.
If this happens, it will have an impact on us, but not very much. Because operators around the world will continue to trust us. For example, when the Fukushima nuclear power plant leakage was triggered by the Japanese tsunami, Huawei employees, who risked their lives, restored 680 base stations in two weeks and contributed to disaster relief. Meng also flew from Hong Kong to Japan at this time, with only two passengers on board. We do not run away when we see disasters, but move forward in the face of disasters for the sake of human security. Indonesia tsunami, we have 47 employees, in 13 hours to the tsunami disaster area 668 base stations were restored to support emergency relief. When Chile was hit by the 9.1 magnitude earthquake, three of our employees lost contact in the earthquake center. The company was going to send rescue teams to rescue these employees. I asked my opinion. I think the earthquake is still there. If we send teams in, we will suffer more disaster. We have to wait patiently for their information. When these disconnected employees first called their supervisor, the supervisor said which area of the microwave station was broken, and the three of them continued to carry their backpacks to repair the microwave station. Their deeds, we later made small movies with real people. I visited the employee afterwards, and just as the richest man in Chile gave me a box of very good wine, I gave it to him. As you know, Africa is not only a war-prone region, but also a disease-prone one. Many of our employees have been exposed to malaria. A large number of them have traveled through these diseases and poor areas. If you need photos, you can ask the Ministry of Public Relations to provide them. From these things, we can also explain that we are not listed companies, not for financial statements, we are striving for the realization of human ideal. No matter how hard the conditions are, we are working hard.
Secondly, I have personally visited 5200 metres of Mount Everest in Nepal to see the base station of nearby villages. I said, If I am greedy for life and fear death, how can I make you brave? If we were a capital-centric company, we would not have done so. Over the past 30 years, Huawei has made great efforts to make progress in remote and poor areas of the world, and even some people have lost their lives. We should not forget them. We should not forget that Huawei has contributed to human society, let alone interpret the facts with suspicion.
Third, General Secretary Jiang inspected our company. At that time, the company was still small and the cement floors were not dry. General Secretary Jiang did not give specific instructions, but encouraged us to work hard. I havent heard what the reporter said.
19. Josh Chin of the Wall Street Journal: Two questions. Who is the future in your mind as CEO successor? Secondly, what role have you played in building Huawei culture? Huaweis culture is known for its offensive and demanding nature. We often summarize it as wolf culture. What have you done in shaping culture? Why is culture so important?
Ren Zhengfei: The only reason Huawei exists is to serve customers. Power is the power and lubricant to promote common values. Whoever takes over will have the power to promote values and play the role of power and lubricant. If power is not restrained, it will hinder and destroy this value. Our governance charter seeks to achieve decentralization, progress, checks and balances, to close the cycle of power, and to scientifically replace it in the cycle.
The fate of a company cannot depend on the individual. Otherwise, the company will not run if the individual is in danger? Facing the uncertain environment of survival and development in the future, only by adhering to collective leadership can we constantly overcome difficulties and achieve sustained victory. The vitality and continuity of collective leadership mechanism are guaranteed through an orderly shift-changing mechanism. So this year we have completed the election of 96 768 shareholders in 170 countries, which will form a new power structure. Through the system handover, we can ensure that the common value of customer-centered, customer-created value of the company is effectively protected and long-term inheritance.
We have divided into several levels of governance institutions, each with clear focus of responsibility and decentralized checks and balances to avoid excessive concentration of power or abuse due to unrestrained. For example, the establishment of a core elite group is composed of senior leaders who withdraw from the board of directors and the board of supervisors to safeguard the long-term interests of the company and master the selection of governance leaders. This design draws on the views of Malik, a famous European managerial scientist, and also absorbs the governance experience of important companies in Europe and other countries in the world for one hundred years. The selection of the board of directors is to appoint people as talents and seniority is not important. Their responsibility is to change the soil fertility and lead the company forward. The board of supervisors appoints people faithfully and supervises the diligent performance of directors and executives. Therefore, power circulates in a closed circle and scientifically changes in a circle.
At present, there are three rotating chairmen, each of whom is on duty for six months. They are the supreme leaders during the current period. The supreme leaders are placed under the law. This law is the constitution of governance and also in collective democracy. For example, when the Chairman-in-Office can propose that the proposal be discussed by the executive board after the three chairmen-in-office discuss it; if the seven-member executive board votes, it can only form a proposal and submit it it to the board of directors for voting; if the majority of the board votes, it can become a document. The chairman of the board of directors represents the representative meeting of shareholders and manages the rules of the executive board. The operation of the executive board and the board of directors must follow the rules of the governing charter. The board of supervisors supervises directorsbehavior. So, who is the successor, I dont know, will naturally occur in the cycle of replacement, not I made, because I am not the King of Saudi Arabia.
20. CNBC Arjun Kharpal: Want to know your business outlook for 2019, we see that some of Huaweis competitors, including Ericsson, are having a hard time. Will this help Huawei further diversify its business? Are there any figures for the revenue target for 2019 now?
Ren Zhengfei: In 2019, we may encounter many setbacks in the international environment, so I just said that our growth will not exceed 20%, estimated at about $125 billion. Nor will we take advantage of others to seize Ericsson and Nokias markets. And now the whole environment is good for them, because some countries restrict our access, and without restricting them, they have more opportunities than we do.
21. Yuan Yang, Financial Times: First, with regard to Ms. Sun Yafang, can you explain her two relationships with the State Security Department and Huawei? Second, how much of Huaweis business relationship with the PLA comes from the military or military-related institutions? Thirdly, does Huawei cooperate with the military or relevant military agencies in R&D?
Ren Zhengfei: First, Sun Yafangs resume is published on the companys website. Secondly, there may be a small number of civil products entering, and the quantity is not clear to me, because it is not the main customer. Thirdly, we do not cooperate with the R&D Institutes of the army.
22. Josh Chin, Wall Street Journal: You mentioned President Trump before and the investment environment in the United States. I would like to hear your opinion. Part of the trade war between China and the United States is that American companies do not have enough market access or fair competition opportunities in the Chinese market. For example, Huawei has now entered such an area as cloud. In fact, there are still many restrictions on American enterprises in this area. So do you think that China should further open up to the U.S. market and then ease the current trade situation? If so, how will it affect Chinas technology enterprises?
Ren Zhengfei: I have always supported the open policy, but I have no right to decide.
I can tell you a story. In 2003, Cisco and we had a century-long lawsuit, Huawei was still a caterpillar. We were faced with such a huge lawsuit that Mount Tai overwhelmed us. At that time, I was under great pressure, mainly because I had no experience. Nevertheless, I never tried to stir up national sentiment and populism to resist Cisco and solve our lawsuit problems. A few years later, Chambers and I met at the airport, and he was very clear about our attitude towards Cisco. Because we know that China, as a country, can only have hope if it is open and reformed. It cant open up for Huawei Company.
For example, when the big event of the sudden failure of the United States to buy Huawei mobile phones came up, some Chinese people proposed to boycott Apple mobile phones. Our attitude is not to sacrifice the national interests of our company and the national open reform policy. When we recently suffered severe setbacks in the West, we still support our country to continue to move towards greater openness. Therefore, I believe that only by opening up and reforming more, can China become a more prosperous country.
Thank you very much for taking so long to listen to my nagging, my speech is not scientific, not perfect, through a cross-section, we have a simple understanding. I believe we will have the opportunity to meet again in the future. We can have in-depth exchanges on a few issues. Todays topic is very extensive, which is helpful for me to answer. Im afraid that you will go to the bottom of a question. We know today that we will have the opportunity to sit together for coffee in the future, sometimes we can say some casual words, but dont take casual words as news words, then we will be more confident. I sincerely thank you for coming today. Thank you.
Source: Editor-in-Charge of Observer Network: Xun Jianguo_NN7379