At its Connect 2020 event, besieged telecoms vendor Huawei vowed to endure the difficulties created for it by US sanctions.
The opening keynote was delivered by Huawei rotating Chairman Guo Ping (pictured), with the theme of ‘creating new value with synergy across five tech domains’. Ping vowed that Huawei will keep investing in the following areas despite the challenges it faces: connectivity, computing, cloud, and AI. The identity of the fifth tech domain remains a mystery.
Underlying all this talk of soldiering on was a call for Huawei’s partners to hang in there and help it weather the storm. “As you know, Huawei is in a difficult situation these days,” said Ping. “Nonstop aggression from the US government has put us under significant pressure. Right now, survival is the goal. As Alexandre Dumas said, ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words – wait and hope.’”
To press home the message, Ping concluded his keynote as follows: “Before I go, I would like to leave you with a quote from Walt Whitman: “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you. 2020 has been a year of grave uncertainties for everyone. Let’s keep our faces toward the sunshine, and we’ll get through this together.”
Given the situation Huawei finds itself in, this is probably the best approach Huawei can take right now. It is acknowledging the situation it finds itself in without playing the victim or agonizing about matters it can’t control. The best way to persuade its partners not to lose hope is to project continuing strength, ambition and financial stability.
There are reports that Ping subsequently called on the US to reconsider its policy, but that request is probably more futile than ever after China finally decided to retaliate with its own list of foreign companies to victimize. As everyone has discovered this year, we’re all just pawns in the hands of flawed politicians whose interests only occasionally overlap with our own.
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