Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has detailed the company’s perspective on the US trade ban.
Speaking in an interview with CNN in Shenzhen, China, Ren said that since the very beginning, Huawei had always supported the globalisation of its operations and aims to work with European and US companies.
“A long time ago, however, we realized that there would be all kinds of uncertainties and conflicts between the US and Huawei,” Ren said.
“We needed to be prepared, so that we wouldn’t collapse and could be self-reliant when the US chose not to sell to us.”
For this reason, Huawei needed to prepare a Plan B, which it has since revealed to be its own app ecosystem and mobile operating system.
“Today, I can say that it won’t be a problem for us to survive short term, but I’m concerned whether we will still be a global leader in three to five years. We will delve deep into this topic, and it has become part of our agenda,” Ren said.
Ren said that Huawei has its own solution ready to deploy if the company is blocked from using Google Mobile Services (GMS) entirely.
“If Huawei is clearly banned by the US from using Google’s GMS ecosystem, we will have to put our own ecosystem into use,” he said. “We believe that we will be able to build up our own global ecosystem within the next two to three years.”
This means that 2-3 years after being banned entirely from Google, Huawei may be competing directly with the US tech giant for smartphone OS market share, and it will not revert to US solutions when it has reached this point.
“If US companies are not allowed to supply their products to us, we have our alternatives,” Ren said. “If those alternatives become mature and stable, I don’t think it’s very likely that we will go back to US companies.”
“So it is now a critical moment for all of us. We hope the US government will take the best interests of US companies into consideration.”
Huawei plans to try as much as possible to work with companies like Microsoft and Google, but if the US government prevents it from doing so, it is poised to smoothly transition to its own operating system and software ecosystem.
South Africa success
When it comes to the company’s reach in other countries outside of the US, it has seen great success.
In South Africa, Huawei has gained a massive following and confidently holds the number-two spot in the local smartphone market.
South Africans continue to trust in the company’s brand and purchase its flagship products, and Huawei is optimistic about its position in the local market.
“We are not under any illusions, and these circumstances have forced us to adapt,” Huawei South Africa CTO Akhram Mohamed previously told MyBroadband.
“We have launched Harmony OS and we are moving onto Huawei Mobile Services to account for the lack of Google Services.”
“In the near future, we will look at Huawei as a software company as well. Had this not happened, we would not have grown so quickly on the software capability front,” Mohamed added.