Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is calling on the company to pivot to software as sanctions against its hardware business have crippled it.
Huawei was one of the leading 5G network equipment providers in the world, in addition to being one of the top smartphone manufacturers. Concerns over its ties to Beijing, however, have led countries around the world to ban the company from participating in their 5G networks.
To make matters worse, the US led a successful effort to cut the company off from semiconductor manufacturing resources, effectively crippling its smartphone business. As a result, Huawei sold its Honor brand of smartphones, and warned that shipments of its flagship line would be significantly lower going forward.
Zhengfei believes the company’s path forward lies with software, according to a memo seen by Reuters, with him calling on the company to “dare to lead the world” in software. Zhengfei specifically highlighted his belief that the future of software development was “outside of U.S. control and we will have greater independence and autonomy.”
It’s a safe bet many countries and jurisdictions will be equally concerned about software provided by Huawei, but the lower cost involved in software vs hardware will still be a major benefit for the company.