Huawei’s Overseas Smartphone Business to Shrink: Ren
Huawei Technologies Co. plans to shift its research center to Canada from the U.S. and manufacture some 5G equipment in Europe in a move to diversify its footprint as it faces increased hostility from the Trump administration, the Globe and Mail reported Tuesday.
Huawei’s “centre for research and development will be moved of the United States. And that will be relocated to Canada,” Chief Executive Officer Ren Zhengfei said in an interview with the Globe from China.
In Canada, Huawei has added 300 employees this year, bringing its total workforce north of the U.S. border to 1,200, he said. The company has reduced its U.S. workers by 600 people to 250 after U.S. restrictions prevented its abilities to communicate with employees. “The director in charge of business plans in the United States is actually working in Ottawa.”
The billionaire founder of the Shenzhen-based mobile equipment maker also wants to build new factory capacity in Europe that will be mostly automated to make 5G equipment as part of Huawei’s plans to expand its global reach. He said the shift away from production in China may win more trust in Europe.
Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, the eldest daughter of Ren, was little known publicly until her arrest last December at Vancouver’s airport at the behest of U.S. officials. The U.S. accuses Meng of tricking banks into conducting transactions that violated sanctions on Iran. In the latest developments surrounding her trial, lawyers for Meng have opposed the broadcast of her extradition proceedings in Canada, saying it’d raise the risk of U.S. President Donald Trump muddying her case.
Here are some other comments from Ren:
The arrest of Meng is “obviously political interference from the U.S.”
“The fundamental purpose of the United states is to try to crush Huawei and Meng Wanzhou was only used as a pawn.”
Ottawa should make the development of artificial intelligence its national strategy. If the Canadian government needs capital to attract talent, “I can give them money. I am richer than the Canadian government.”