The founder and CEO of Huawei Ren Zhengfei has been doing a round of interviews in the past week, responding to the company’s placement on a US ban list. He has made the assertion that he neither expects nor has any hopes for a retaliation from the Chinese government against the ban by the Trump administration. A resolute Zhengfei said, first of all that will not happen and secondly if that happens, he will be the first to protest.
Notoriety swirls around Huawei’s name in the U.S, with the American security agencies calling it out as a national security threat and also urging consumers away from buying any Huawei device. There are other allegations of intellectual property and trade secret theft which mar the company’s reputation, despite the fact that hard evidence of material wrongdoing is still difficult to find. President Donald Trump recently asserted that the measures which are being taken by his administration are more of a trade negotiation move against China than a real national security response to the Chinese company.
It might be reasonable for the chief of Huawei to look to the Chinese government to shield his company, but he is taking an entirely different approach. He says that Huawei’s current precarious situation is like managing a plane with a hole in its side which is certainly not great, but the good thing is that the plane is still up, and the company will need to make some appropriate adjustments.