According to Bloomberg, citing an unconfirmed memo, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said that the company needs to create an "invincible iron army" capable of weathering the US trade war on China and planned to implement changes over the next three to five years.
The Chinese telecoms giant also planned to restructure its operations after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Chinese telecoms giant, with the company facing a “painful long march”, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
Mr Ren's 'Long March' refers to the Chinese People's Liberation Army's tactical retreat from the nationalist Guomintang, eventually leading to the latter's defeat and the rise of Mao Zedong to power.
Google also temporarily halted Android updates for Huawei phones and Microsoft pulled Huawei products from its store before reversing the decision as US companies waited for US officials to provide licences allowing transactions with Beijing.
“We have to complete an overhaul in harsh and difficult conditions, creating an invincible iron army that can help us achieve victory,” Ren Zhengfei said in the memo dated 2 August. “We absolutely have to complete this re-organization within three to five years.”
When our founder Ren Zhengfei was young, you had to be a CPC member to have a position of responsibility, even as a head cook in the army. He remains a member today but this has no bearing on business. We don't have ties to the PRC govt beyond selling them civil comms products.— Huawei Facts (@HuaweiFacts) August 10, 2019
“Two bullets fired at our consumer business group unfortunately hit the oil tanks,” Mr Ren reportedly wrote.
Mr Ren later spoke about Huawei’s edge over US telecoms technologies, stating that Huawei’s meteoric rise prompted Washington to attack the company and limit emerging markets from accessing the company’s next-generation products.
“The U.S. doesn’t use the most advanced 5G technology,” Ren wrote. “That may leave it lagging behind in the artificial intelligence sector.”
The news comes as Huawei launched plans for a research and development centre in Shanghai’s Qingpu district, SCMP reported on 7 August, where the company will invest 10bn yuan (£1.2bn) and house 30,000 to 40,000 workers to help the tech multinational make its own components for its consumer products as well as IT and Internet of Things devices to reduce dependency on US tech firms.
Huawei also unveiled its Harmony operating system on Friday, an open-source OS which aims to replace Android if Google refuses to provide updates for Huawei devices. Following the announcement, US officials halted issuing licences to Huawei on Saturday, as promised by US president Donald Trump in June, after Beijing refused to buy US agricultural goods, with the former slapping 10 percent tariffs on $300bn in Chinese goods and stating it would not conduct business with the latter unless a new US-China trade deal was reached.