Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei gave a revealing interview to Bloomberg Television where he discussed the threats to his company after being blacklisted by the U.S. In it; he revealed that he would not support an Apple boycott in retaliation for the bans put against his firm.
"Apple is my teacher"
Zhengfei claimed that the boycott was unlikely to happen, but if it were to happen he would protest against it.
"That will not happen, first of all. And second of all, if that happens, I’ll be the first to protest. Apple is my teacher, it’s in the lead. As a student, why go against my teacher? Never," said the executive in the Bloomberg Television interview.
Huawei has been accused in the past of stealing technology from Apple and other mobile providers. That is an accusation Zhengfei vehemently denies. “I stole the American technologies from tomorrow. The U.S. doesn’t even have those technologies. We are ahead of the U.S. If we were behind, there would be no need for Trump to strenuously attack us," said the billionaire.
In the meantime, the U.S. ban has been said to disrupt the rollout of 5G. Zhengfei, however, is defiant in front of the blacklisting claiming his firm has the capacity to come up with its own solutions.
Keeping the plane in the sky
Huawei has been designing its own chips and even developing its own operating software. The question comes down to how fast they can ramp up that production, a question Zhengfei could not answer clearly.
“That depends on how fast our repairmen are able to fix the plane,” said Zhengfei. “No matter what materials they use, be it metal, cloth, or paper, the aim is to keep the plane in the sky.”
There are also rumors that Huawei has stockpiled enough chips and other components to keep afloat at least three months. Whatever the truth is, you have to admire Zhengfei's resilience in front of very real threats to his company's existence.
“We have made some really good chips,” said Zhengfei. “Being able to grow in the toughest battle environment, that just reflects how great we are.”
The interview can be watched on Bloomberg.com.