Huawei’s Reclusive Founder Rejects Spying and Praises Trump


BEIJING — To entrepreneurs in China, he’s a legend akin to Steve Jobs.

To United States officers, he’s the secretive mastermind behind an organization that’s extending the Chinese authorities’s potential to infiltrate pc methods and information networks world wide.

But for all his fame and energy, Ren Zhengfei, the 74-year-old founder and chief govt of the Chinese expertise large Huawei, could now not have the posh of letting his firm’s success communicate for itself.

In his first public feedback since United States authorities organized for the arrest of his daughter Meng Wanzhou, who can also be Huawei’s chief monetary officer, Mr. Ren informed a gaggle of reporters on Tuesday that he missed his daughter very a lot, and that he would wait to see if President Trump intervened in her case. He referred to as Mr. Trump a “great president,” and stated that his tax cuts had helped American enterprise.

Ms. Meng was arrested in Canada final month on accusations of defrauding banks to assist Huawei’s enterprise in Iran. Washington is looking for her extradition, however Mr. Trump has prompt that he would possibly intercede if it will assist China and the United States attain a deal to finish their commerce conflict. Huawei has stated that it’s unaware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng.

Mr. Ren was born in 1944, in the mountainous southwestern province of Guizhou. His parents were teachers; he was one of seven children. His father, Ren Moxun, was the son of a master ham maker in Zhejiang Province. When he was growing up, Mr. Ren wrote in a 2001 article, the family was so poor that he did not own a proper shirt until after high school.

According to an official company biography, he studied engineering in college and joined the Chinese military’s infrastructure engineering corps in 1974 to help build and run a factory manufacturing synthetic fibers for textiles. At a time when China had no private-sector economy to speak of, it was not unusual for college graduates to join the military.

The infrastructure engineering corps was disbanded in 1983, according to the official biography. A few years later, Mr. Ren and business partners founded Huawei in what he called, in a 2016 interview with the official news agency Xinhua, a “run-down shack.” The company started as a reseller of telephone equipment imported from Hong Kong, but later started developing its own technology.

As it expanded around China and then across the world, Huawei inculcated a die-hard competitive spirit in its employees, pushing them to work harder and move faster than the company’s rivals. Huawei still speaks proudly of its “wolf culture.”

“We will always have wolf culture,” Mr. Ren said in an interview last year with Xinhua. “Catching prey might be difficult. But the wolf is unrelenting.”

Mr. Ren has a reputation for being blunt in conversation. In 2010, Rick Perry, then the governor of Texas, spoke at the ribbon-cutting for Huawei’s new American headquarters in Plano.

“It’s not really about Ren’s roots in the P.L.A., in my opinion,” said Andrew Davenport, the chief operating officer of RWR Advisory Group, a Washington-based risk consulting firm, referring to the People’s Liberation Army. “It’s just the fact that they’re Chinese, and are tainted by their government’s poor record on cyberespionage.”

Mr. Davenport added: “Any global Chinese tech actor is at risk of being considered a liability, because they’re going to be susceptible to doing what Chinese government wants them to do.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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