The chief of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has called for a full push in the software, an internal memo released Tuesday said, as part of accelerated product diversification to overcome US sanctions.
CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei told staff that the move made sense “because in the software business the United States will have very little control over our future development and we will have a lot of autonomy.”
The instructions from Ren, 76, represent the latest sign of a major strategic refocus brought on by pressure from the United States, which views Huawei as a potential security threat.
In April, Huawei announced plans to work with Chinese automakers to make smart vehicles and pledged to accelerate the development of its own smartphone operating system after it was cut off from Google’s Android platform. by US restrictions.
The world’s leading provider of telecommunications networking equipment – and until recently a top three supplier of smartphones along with Apple and Samsung until its problems pulled it out of this triumvirate – Huawei had earlier announced cloud diversification computing and industries. linked to the advent of 5G networks.
It sold its budget smartphone brand Honor at the end of last year, but vowed to keep its flagships while hinting at greater reliance on the friendlier confines of the Chinese domestic market.
By saying “the best defense is a good offense,” Ren laid out an ambitious plan to develop software that “adapts and embraces the world”.
“At a time when the United States pulls out its ‘net’ and pursues a closed strategy, we must become more open and become open-source on an even greater scale,” he said.
“The company has many resources to support you, so feel free to invest material and human resources boldly in your work. ”
The memo, provided to AFP by the company, was a compilation of discussions in April between Ren and Huawei’s technical teams.
Aside from the fleeting mention of software leaders like Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, the memo offered little detail on what types of software Huawei would venture into or who its competitors would be.
Former US President Donald Trump launched an aggressive campaign in 2018 to isolate Huawei, saying his network equipment installed around the world could be used by the Chinese Communist Party government for espionage or sabotage.
The company has been shut out of the huge US market, cut off from global component supply chains, and the US has pressured its allies to ban or tear Huawei equipment from its telecommunications networks.
China and Huawei fiercely reject US security claims, saying no evidence has ever been provided to back them up.
Huawei’s mobile phone sales, as well as overall revenue growth, have weakened since last year.
The new US administration of President Joe Biden has indicated that it will keep the pressure on Huawei.
© 2021 AFP