Huawei is a little discombobulated following Trump's executive order declaring a national emergency and barring US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms posing a national security risk. Companies like Google, Qualcomm, and Intel have already expressed they would drop relations with the Chinese telecommunications giant.
In a group interview on May 21, founder and CEO of Huawei Ren Zhengfei spoke at the company headquarters in Shenzen, China. Indeed, the CEO was happy and amenable but his expression showed his disdain for Donald Trump's decision. Indeed, he did go off on a tangent by referencing war stories about Germany and Japan during World War II. His summation was that Germany and Japan were flattened through bombardment. He mentioned how the nations' industrial infrastructure was obliterated and that the economic impact went much deeper.
However, he stated, "Even if everything else is lost, as long as people remain, they will revitalize the nation. In just a few years, Japan and Germany revitalized their industrial nation. This spoke of the nations' talent, education systems, and foundation. This is what matters most. So even if we lose everything else, we can't lose our talent. This includes their qualities, skills, and confidence. This is very important."
What Ren is doing is quite different than any other CEO in history; he's elevating the national character of the Chinese people. This man is simply not going to sit down and take punishment from the US. He's directly appealing to the hardliners of the Communist Party to take reciprocal action against the US industry including the likes of Apple, Tesla, and a myriad of other companies in the sporting goods industry. Even Nike is now worried about the escalating trade war between China and the US.
We indicated a few articles prior to this one that China may go after the US by diminishing their supply with rare earth elements. This is vital as these rare earth elements constitute many formulations surrounding disruptive technology and the USA's technology industry as a whole. Ren was very tactful; he did not criticize US companies directly because they abide by the law with respect to the real economy. He instead chooses to blame the American politicians that now fear Huawei's advanced technologies in the 5G sector and claim that competitor's won't be able to catch up within 2 to 3 years.
In terms of semiconductor chips, Ren indicated that Huawei is always in need of US chips and have been fulfilled by their US suppliers who must ask for approval from Washington. If the approval is granted, Huawei will still buy from their current suppliers. He mentioned they would even sell chips to US companies in an effort to spark technological advancement in the semiconductor industry through competition. As a whole, Huawei doesn't want to exclude US partners and stresses the need to grow together.
Literally, the CEO of Huawei is saying that in the globalized technological world, countries can not be isolated. Global technological advancement features its own gene pool that effectively expedites competition and subsequent growth. Emerging countries absorb technological advancements from other countries, but also ignite novel ways of thinking about the implementation of technology in a simpler yet more sophisticated form.
For example, Ren stressed, "Even if there is an insufficient supply from our partners, we will face no problems. This is because we can manufacture all the high-end chips we need ourselves." What he's doing is soliciting the national will from the Communist Party to provide more investment and tools to become #1 instead of #2. China dominated the biggest and fastest computers for 5 years. It was just recently that the US got ahead. Now China is at it again to beat the Americans to dominate the sphere of technology.
The CEO maneuvered his logic towards US politicians by stating, "I think we should not be the target of US-led campaigns just because we are ahead of the US. 5G is not an atomic bomb; it's something that benefits society." Again, the CEO is talking to the Chinese politicians by indirectly indicating his company's infiltration by the US should be retaliated upon by Chinese politicians on American companies. "On a business level, I think the gap is quite small between Huawei and certain US companies. On the national level, however, there are huge gaps between China and the US," he added.
What most people don't know is that a US company was about to buy Huawei for 10 billion US in the early 2000s. However, while Huawei waited the US company's board of directors was reelected and ended up rejecting the acquisition deal. Following this, our younger executives explicitly mentioned how they no longer wanted to sell Huawei. Ren couldn't reject this and indicated, "We will have to square off against the US when we reach the top. We need to get prepared." Since the failed acquisition, Huawei has been considering what will exactly happen when they meet the US at the top, and they have accordingly made preparations for this.
As CEO, is Ren afraid of his company going down the tubes? Yes. However more importantly, he is telling the Chinese people that now is the time to rise with confidence and meet our competitors eye-to-eye. This can't be done alone, but only collectively through the national will of China to appropriately take action. A rising nation can not kneel when the technological iron curtain has finally come into fruition. The technological iron curtain emerged because of fear. More importantly, it emerged due to the speed of new technology sweeping across economies.
Technological advancements and intellectual knowledge simply can not stop feeding itself. They have become the national will based on the confidence of the people themselves.