On the morning of April 22, 2020, Ren Zhengfei was interviewed by Jia Zheng, editor-in-chief of Dragon magazine at Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen. Recently, the U.S. government has set up a new working group to encourage U.S. companies to withdraw from China through full subsidies. In this interview, Ren Zhengfei expressed his views on the incident. He said:
“It is wrong to transfer the industrial chain to the country, because the economy must be globalized. Only globalization can be competitive, and without globalization, there is no competitiveness. It is impossible for any country to build a total factor capability alone, and the cost of building a total factor industrial chain by a country alone is very high.”
as early as 2011, then US President Obama asked apple jobs: “Mr Jobs, to be produced in the United States iPhone if so, what conditions do you need to meet?” Jobs replied: “These jobs will not come back. We employ 700,000 workers in China and need the support of 30,000 engineers behind it. If you can education with so many engineers, we can move the factory back to the United States.” Nine years later, Apple still regards China as its most important production base.
In this interview, Ren Zhengfei also responded to the motivation of donating anti-epidemic materials to Canada, the United States, Spain and other countries, “the King of Spain called me, we urgently delivered a batch of epidemic prevention materials in the past. Donations to the United States and Canada were made only after they turned to us for help. In general, people need to care for each other and help each other. As long as there is help, we will do something to support them. These donations belong to humanitarian aid and have no purpose, there is no exchange.”
some time ago, the director of Ren Zhengfei’s outgoing subsidiary was fired and many people speculated that it was preparing for retirement. In this regard, Ren Zhengfei clarified: “This is to clean up some subsidiaries for decades, after withdrawing from the post, let the grassroots young people take up the post, which does not mean any signal. The company withdrew us from the subsidiary company according to the procedure and removed us from office according to the procedure. This is a normal operation and does not mean anything.”
the following is the full text of the interview:
jia Zheng: Hello, Mr. Ren. Thank you for inviting me to Shenzhen. Huawei look at it and accept an exclusive interview with Dragon magazine. Everyone is no stranger to you and Huawei, especially some golden sentences when you were interviewed by Chinese and foreign media on last May, which can be said to be countless. The answer to the reporter’s question last year was under the environment that the United States suppressed Huawei. At that time, you also talked about that although there was a conflict with the United States, Huawei would eventually contribute to human society together with the United States. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out at the Central Foreign Affairs Work Conference in June 2018, “China is currently in the best period of development since modern times, and the world is in a great change that has not been seen in a century.” Since this spring, with the spread of the new Crown epidemic in the world, people have further deepened their understanding of the “great changes that have not been seen in a hundred years. As an entrepreneur, this time, how do you think about the community of human destiny, global economic integration and the future?
Ren Zhengfei: at present, the most important thing for China is to continuously improve its own strength and rely on science, talents and education to narrow the gap with the United States. Without science, talents and good education, there can be no good industrial and agricultural development. China must first be strong. For example, our agricultural products have a certain gap in price and quality with American agricultural products. How to promote future biological science progress needs to learn from the United States. We should seriously analyze where our weaknesses are? For example, many low-end industries have migrated to Thailand and Vietnam, but now Thailand and Vietnam have also started industrial upgrading and are constantly striving for the migration of Chinese high-tech enterprises. We must now not only compare the policy advantages with the United States, but also compare the advantages with Thailand and Vietnam. If our advantages are not compared with them, then our goals and ideals will not be easy to achieve. Therefore, we need to continuously optimize and upgrade the industrial environment and enhance the national competitiveness.
Jia Zheng: General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that a strong education is a strong country, and a prosperous education is a prosperous country. You said in an interview that the prosperity of a country was completed on the platform of primary school classrooms and repeatedly mentioned the importance of basic education in our country, especially in rural areas. However, the current exam-oriented education has made the society focus on the sprint of high school. How to improve the quality of education and improve the education system of primary and secondary schools, especially the basic education of primary schools in underdeveloped areas. What is your opinion on this.
Ren Zhengfei: if we want the country to become more prosperous and stable, we must first let the teenagers have thoughts and morals. Who gave them these thoughts and morals? Is a primary school teacher. Before the age of ten, it should be the best time to cultivate children’s imagination and creativity, because they do not know the world and are not bound. If a good education method is adopted, children’s talents can be well cultivated and their innovation ability will be greatly improved. At a certain time, they will choose their own subjects to study. The education in a country should be colorful and cannot be standardized.
At present, the main problem is that the investment in rural education is too little. The reason is that all the funds have been used to build houses. Teachers’ income should be greatly increased. In fact, teachers are the foundation of maintaining social stability, children usually listen to what teachers say. Many of the houses built now are empty. Can you take out some of the funds for building houses so that children in less developed areas can increase their nutrition, and their vigorous growth will serve the country, contribute to the country. “The prosperity of a country is done on the platform of primary school teachers.” This sentence was put forward by Marshal Mao Qi of Prussia in 1870. I just quoted it.
In addition, not everyone can be admitted to a famous university and shoulder the social responsibility. Senior positions are in the minority. We can’t all take this road. We should develop vocational education. We can get employment by learning a technology and get rid of poverty by employment. Including the resettlement of demobilized soldiers, there are now tens of millions of demobilized soldiers. The veterans Security Department has done a good job over the years and contributed to the stability of the country. Can it connect to vocational and technical schools when demobilized soldiers change jobs, learn a technology and a craft, so that employment is not too difficult and will make great contributions to the society.
We can’t completely take elite education. Many people don’t need to take that step. They must carry out Diversified vocational skills training. There is no need for vocational training to engage in a teaching method of 1000 or 2000 people learning together. The master’s Apprentice is also a vocational training. Many vocational schools in Germany have 20 or 30 people, that is, the master takes the apprentice. The training fee charged by the master can support the family, and The Apprentice is also brought out. Especially like a German automobile factory, I once went to Stuttgart, Germany. The President of the engineering academy took me to see the first-year freshmen of the Institute of Engineering. When I entered the school, everyone sent an iron block and a gear drawing. Students are required not to use the machine, all use the file to file out the gear, then install it on the transmission, go to the road test, and pass the test before scoring. Why the quality of German cars is better than that of our education is drawing pictures without practice, so the cars manufactured cannot reach the quality level of German cars. China’s such a large country must rely on real enterprises to fully solve employment. Because real enterprises need multi-level talents, including scientists, experts, engineers, technicians, technicians, workers, etc. These people are employed and the society is stable.
Jia Zheng: You said that only quiet water can go further inadvertently. Please talk about the philosophical truth.
Ren Zhengfei: the stream spray splashes, and it is always a stream. Large rivers and rivers, still water undercurrent, have great strength. The Yangtze River is the best rule by doing nothing. No matter what you do, you will not waste the rivers for ever.
Jia Zheng: in the face of the new Crown epidemic and the further suppression of the United States, the start of 2020 seems to be more difficult than last year. How does Huawei face such double challenges?
Ren Zhengfei: it is even more difficult. Huawei has resumed production since February 1 without interruption. During the Spring Festival, many people also work overtime because we have to race against time. This epidemic has a certain impact on our production, sales and delivery. Some supporting manufacturers cannot increase their production quantity and logistics cannot be carried out. Under the condition of ensuring health and safety, we help the upstream and downstream to let them start work. In addition, international logistics also has an impact. Now the number of international flights has been greatly reduced, and the cost of air transportation has increased by 3-5 times, which has an impact on us,
facing the pressure from the United States, we still need to overcome it step by step. We still cannot catch up with the United States in basic research, and it is still very difficult to make up for this lesson. Especially to make up for the basic science. In the past, the United States did our homework well. We bought it back. Now we have to do this homework ourselves. We need to spend more money and time, and the economic benefits will drop.
Jia Zheng: Under the circumstances that the world epidemic is widely affected and the global economic development is deeply troubled, what is Huawei’s production and sales situation at home and abroad? Has the epidemic disrupted Huawei’s entire development rhythm this year?
Ren Zhengfei: The epidemic is not a big blow to the electronics industry, because everyone has to work at home, hold meetings at home, and the network is now very busy. Huawei grew 1.4% in the first quarter, the growth was lower, and we did not stop work, because our health protection government thought it was very good, and the construction period increased the investment. The most influential industries are catering, tourism, aviation, hotels and other industries. The epidemic has not had much impact on the electronics industry, but the demand is greater than before.
Jia Zheng: Many people think that this epidemic will reshape the global industrial chain, and European, American and Japanese countries will accelerate the transfer of the core links in the industrial chain to their own countries. What do you think of this trend? What impact do you think this trend will have on China’s manufacturing industry?
Ren Zhengfei: it is wrong to transfer the industrial chain to its own country, because the economy must be globalized. Only globalization can be competitive, and without globalization, there is no competitiveness. It is impossible for any country to build a total factor capability alone, and the cost of building a total factor industrial chain by a country alone is very high. At present, a large number of middle and low-end manufacturing industries in our country are transferring to Thailand, Vietnam and other countries. The United States is also suppressing China’s high-tech industries. China’s manufacturing industry is in the middle of the middle, which must be very difficult, can’t have too many fantasies.
Jia Zheng: We have noticed Huawei P40 mobile phone there is no Google at all, and it is equipped with Huawei’s own mobile service HMS. What is the current progress of HMS promotion overseas, and what are the advantages of HMS compared with Google? Recently, Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business, said in an interview that Huawei’s mobile phones can be completely free of US parts. Is this true?
Ren Zhengfei: it is OK not to use American parts, but what if others don’t buy them. The sales volume of Android and Apple’s operating systems in the world is huge, and consumers are already familiar with these two operating systems. Huawei is a latecomer, and it is very difficult for consumers to agree with our operating system. Therefore, it may take a long time for Huawei’s operating system to surpass Android and Apple’s operating system, but it will not exceed 300.
Our relationship with Google and Apple is very friendly. Although our mobile phone is not equipped with Android system, samsung other brands of mobile phones, our 5G base station is sold all over the world, Apple, Samsung and other brands of mobile phones use our base station, with ecology. We would like to thank Apple and Android for their good performance of 5G, which is equivalent to helping us. Android is helping us, and Apple is also helping us. Without their ecology, what’s the use of our base station. So there is no vicious competition in Huawei’s operating system, just saying to find a way out when others don’t give it to us. Our operating system has just begun. Android’s ecosystem has 2.8 million apps, and our ecosystem has tens of thousands. There is a huge gap. Of course, our system is developed later and will have some advantages, but the advantages will not be recognized until consumers experience it.
Jia Zheng: Will Huawei replace all American parts in mobile phones in the future?
Ren Zhengfei: No, the United States will always be our good friend. We purchased US $18.7 billion of spare parts in the United States last year, compared with US $11 billion in the past, greatly increasing the purchase of US spare parts. The U.S. government has also approved some U.S. companies to supply us. The proposal of a few politicians in the United States does not fully represent the opinion of the U.S. government. Many U.S. companies have been approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce to supply us with spare parts. We have no idea of replacing U.S. spare parts.
Jia Zheng: in this epidemic, Huawei donated a lot of masks and medical protection articles to the United States and Canada, but some people questioned this, it is believed that this move is to allow Canada to allow Huawei to enter the local 5G network construction and affect Ms. Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case in Canada. How do you respond to such questions?
Ren Zhengfei: We have provided epidemic prevention support to many countries. These are not our main businesses. Our main businesses are information and communication. For example, the King of Spain called me, we urgently delivered a batch of epidemic prevention materials in the past. Donations to the United States and Canada were made only after they turned to us for help. In general, people need to care for each other and help each other. As long as there is help, we will do something to support them. These donations belong to humanitarian aid and have no purpose, without any quid pro quo.
Jia Zheng: What do you think is the key to gaining trust overseas as a Chinese enterprise? How can Chinese technology companies do to better win the trust of the world?
Ren Zhengfei: we should put the interests of our customers in the most important position, be honest and trustworthy, and abide by the law. Only in this way can we adapt to the international environment and survive in the fierce international competition.
Jia Zheng: Sino-US relations directly affect Huawei. How do you see the development of Sino-US relations and are you optimistic about bilateral relations?
Ren Zhengfei: Huawei is a simple commercial company and has no sales in the United States. It does not have much impact on Huawei at present.
Jia Zheng: as far as I know, Huawei has at least 700 mathematicians, more than 800 physicists, more than 120 chemists, 6000 or 7000 basic research experts and more than 60,000 engineers. How does Huawei attract and train the best talents?
Ren Zhengfei: the society may think that Huawei will not have so many scientists, because they have a myth of scientists. Scientists have theoretical, application-level, and algorithm. We have made a lot of breakthroughs in the underlying algorithms. We also call these excellent experts who do not directly create value scientists. Most of them are foreign high-end employees, forming breakthroughs in theoretical structure, therefore, Huawei’s academic structure is still relatively high. Of course, in the research and development of some operating systems, secondary school students and junior college students also occupy a certain proportion. The key to attracting talents is the sense of mission. Providing a platform for doing things to meet the greatest wishes of scientists. In fact, scientists don’t care about other things, only about how to realize their ideals.
Jia Zheng: Ren Zong, I have read many articles about Huawei written by you, such as “How long can Huawei’s red flag last”. I want to know if Huawei enters the post-Ren Zhengfei era one day, will the corporate culture genes that have been inherited for 33 years mutate? What are your plans for Huawei’s development in the next 10 years or even longer?
Ren Zhengfei: I will not have any influence when I am here or not. Huawei will move forward with inertia, and I cannot influence Huawei now. I am a person without power in Huawei, and power is not in my hands, power in the company’s process, I can tell my thoughts and opinions, but it does not affect decision-making and planning.
Jia Zheng: You are the head and founder of Huawei. You are 76 years old. In recent days, the media reported that you stepped down as a director of Huawei’s subsidiary twice in six months, guess this is your message to retire, is there such a plan? If you retire one day, what are your plans and plans for your life?
Ren Zhengfei: this is to clean up some subsidiaries for decades and let young people at the grass-roots level take up their positions after they quit. This does not mean any signal. The company withdrew us from the subsidiary company according to the procedure and removed us from office according to the procedure. This is a normal operation and does not mean anything. I don’t have any hobbies. If I retire one day, I will drink tea. If I have nothing to do, I will drink two more cups. Drink at work coffee absorb cosmic energy and drink tea for recreation.