Huawei founder urges push to counter U.S. sanctions

Founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Ren Zhengfei has called on staff at the company to “dare to lead the world” in software as the company seeks growth beyond hardware operations crippled by U.S. sanctions.

In an internal memo, Ren said the company is focusing on software because future development in the field is fundamentally “outside of U.S. control and we will have greater independence and autonomy”.

Huawei was put on an export blacklist by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2019 and barred from accessing critical U.S.-origin technology, impeding its ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

The blacklist also barred Google from providing technical support to new Huawei phone models and access to Google Mobile Services, the bundle of developer services upon which most Android apps are based.

The ban put Huawei’s handset business under immense pressure, and questions remain about its ability to supply the telecommunications equipment that was once its core business.

As it will be hard for Huawei to produce advanced hardware in the short term, it should focus on building software ecosystems, such as its HarmonyOS operating system, its cloud AI system Mindspore, and other IT products, the note said.

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