Huawei founder stresses trustworthiness as top priority in letter to employees

  • Huawei cites cybersecurity and privacy protection as top priorities
  • The Shenzhen-based telecommunications equipment supplier has secured more than 26 commercial contracts for 5G
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2019, 11:11am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2019, 12:08pm

Huawei Technologies founder Ren Zhengfei has called for trustworthiness to be the top focus for the Chinese telecommunications equipment supplier as it battles to gain the confidence of governments and corporate clients worldwide to use its 5G products.

“Today we find ourselves at the cusp of yet another great change. As cloud, digitisation, and software-defined everything become more and more prevalent, demand for the trustworthiness of ICT infrastructure products is reaching entirely new heights,” Ren said in a letter to employees that was verified by the Shenzhen-based company.

“Whether or not our customers want to buy our products, or even dare to, will come down to whether or not they trust them. The same goes for earning the acceptance and trust of governments the world over.”

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The letter comes as Huawei gave an upbeat forecast of surpassing US$100 billion in revenue last year, despite the swirling legal drama surrounding its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada and is currently out on bail. Ren made no mention of Meng in the letter.

The Shenzhen-based company said last month that it has secured 26 commercial contracts for 5G, the next-generation mobile technology, resulting in its shipment of more than 10,000 base stations.

Huawei also announced plans to bolster its cybersecurity efforts with an initial US$2 billion investment, while emphasising the company's “clean” record in terms of security and renewed commitment to step up engagement with world governments.

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The company has consistently pushed back on efforts by the US and other governments to blacklist the company on security grounds without proof.

In the letter to employees, Ren goes on to list areas of priority, including strengthening the security, resilience and privacy of its products. The exercise extends to the “fundamental quality of our code,” he said, adding that “coding quality should be viewed as part of our personal honour and reputation.”

Ren also said the company will change the way it appraises employees so that “exceptional developer and architecture designers truly stand out”, while providing better training and support to those programmers whose work is falling short.

“We have our fair share of bad habits to break. Making these changes will be a painstaking process for many of us. A raw process,” he said. “But I’m confident we can rise above this challenge.”

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