Once-powerful Chinese communications systems maker Huawei has decided which strategy to tackle a long list of challenges “should not be decided by a handful of people” at the helm of the company.
Founder Ren Zhengfei feels he must look beyond established leadership for solutions to his predicament. According to a South China Morning Post memo, Zhengfei urged his colleagues to think about the company’s future direction after it was hit hard by US sanctions and saw sales slump.
“Huawei’s strategy should not be decided by a handful of people… it should come from tens of thousands of experts studying our future direction and how to get there,” Ren said, urging Huawei’s 6,000 experts and hundreds of thousands of engineers to join the discussions “together with outside scientists and consultants,” he said.
Scientists and engineers would be encouraged to participate in interdisciplinary discussions and “speak freely” to figure out where the company should go.
“Turning ideas into projects and products will depend on scrutiny from decision-makers, and I hope whatever the company does is within bounds and creates value in the short or long term,” Ren said.
“Your innovation should have business value, not just an idea,” Zhengfei said.
The registry has contacted Huawei for further comments.
The US has continued to oppose using the Chinese manufacturer’s equipment in essential infrastructure. Although the policy began under controversial Republican President Donald Trump, it has survived the transition to Democrat Joe Biden, who signed the Secure Equipment Act in February. In 2020, Trump extended his executive order banning US companies from using or buying telecommunications equipment made by Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE.
Huawei’s revenue has plummeted by nearly a third since 2020, although profits were boosted by the sale of Honor’s budget smartphone business.
Faced with such challenges, the manufacturing giant has come up with at least one idea: personal computers. In April, Huawei CEO Yu Chengdong announced that the company will establish a business PC unit and “fully enter the commercial space.”
Also, earlier this year, the company paid a whopping $9.65 billion dividend to current and retired employees under its Employee Shareholders Scheme (ESS).
Huawei also has a sizable share of the cloud infrastructure market in China, where it accounted for 18 percent of the $27.4 billion spent by local companies in 2021. ®