Ren Zhengfei, the founder and CEO of Huawei, reportedly urged the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant’s staff to pivot to software in a major way, to deal with the impact of sanctions placed on it by the US. Ren believes that Huawei should focus on software production since the US will not be able to control that. According to him, it will give Huawei more autonomy.
At the moment, Huawei is unable to mass-produce many hardware products, because of sanctions that bar it from doing business with US firms. The company stockpiled chips and components but the reserves are limited.
Huawei is not just blocked from hardware access but also Google apps and services on its smartphones. The Biden administration has not suggested that it may reverse the Trump-era sanctions, although Washington has eased off Chinese companies like ByteDance and Xiaomi.
It is obvious that even with stockpiles, Huawei has been somewhat crippled since even some EU countries have been pressured to close the door in the Chinese company’s face, amid a digital transformation and the introduction of 5G, which would have been a major revenue stream. The telecom equipment giant has to look to other avenues now.
Since things have changed, Ren is reported to have said that Huawei should focus on its software products, including MindSpore (a cloud AI platform). It is also working on HarmonyOS, its answer to Android OS.
The company wants to compete in major non-US markets like Europe, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific regions by dominating them so the US cannot enter.
It won’t be long now before Huawei releases its software plans. There is a promotional image on WeChat, shared by the company, teasing a major HarmonyOS announcement that will happen on June 2nd, indicating plans are already underway.