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Ren Zhengfei, the founder and CEO of Huawei, said at an internal company meeting that Huawei must focus early on 6G to avoid being restrained by patents. Huawei will seek the international talent required to achieve the future of networks. The company is setting up an international oriented campus in Shanghai.

Ren said the company’s study of 6G is to take precautions and “seize the patent position,” urging it to not wait until 6G is really useful to make a move, as “we are then constrained by a lack of patents.” Text of the internal company meeting, which took a Q&A format, was released via Chinese news outlets.

The plan to stay ahead

The position taken by Huawei here is not surprising, given that China’s national intellectual property administration said a few months ago that the nation already leads the world in patents pertinent to the development of sixth-generation mobile networks. Given that South Korea, Japan, America, Finland, and others are pursuing the technology, it is in Huawei’s interest to stay ahead. It is worth noting that a formal standard for 6G will not emerge until late in this decade, meaning the race is still on and the trophy is up for grabs.

Attracting talent

Zhengfei used many metaphors during the conversation. Using fluid mechanics concepts to compare R&D to nozzles, he said that some people climb mountains and most people grow food for them, as a way of saying we all choose different paths in science and engineering and long-term research, likening specialists to MSG sprinkled on noodles.

Attracting experts is an area of concern for the company, which plans to offer salaries on par with US tech companies to get talent from the country that sanctioned it. He talked about a new international oriented research campus in Qingpu, Shanghai. Experts from all over the world should be able to work there and feel at home at the campus.