Huawei’s Ren Zhengfei says he hopes budget smartphone brand Honor will surpass its former parent company

28-Nov-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Huawei Technologies founder Ren Zhengfei said he hoped budget smartphone brand Honor, which Huawei recently sold, would become its former parent company’s strongest global competitor and even surpass it in the future.

“Be the strongest competitor of Huawei in the world, surpass Huawei, and even use defeating Huawei as your motivation,” Ren said at a farewell party for Honor, according to a transcript released on Huawei’s official employee community platform, Xinsheng Shequ, on Thursday. “We are competitors in the future.”

Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and China’s biggest smartphone vendor, announced the sale of all Honor assets to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology, a consortium of over 30 agents and dealers, in a statement on November 17.

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The deal came after the US imposed tighter restrictions on Huawei in May this year, restricting its access to Huawei’s acquisition of chips made with American software and technology, even from companies outside the US.

Comparing the sale to “divorce”, Ren said Honor will be divested completely in compliance to international rules. “Once ‘divorced’, we should not be connected any more. We are adults. We should handle things separately, strictly follow compliance management, strictly abide by international rules and each achieve our own goals.”

Explaining Honor’s sale, Ren said US sanctions against Huawei threatened millions of jobs as well as supplies from Huawei’s dealers and agents from 170 countries.

“We cannot drag innocent people into the water because of our own suffering,” Ren said. “After the sale, Honor quickly resumed production under the leadership of Zhixin to solve problems with upstream and downstream partners.”

Ren warned Honor will face “problems bigger than any other new companies” and called on his former employees to embrace globalisation and learn from companies in the UK, US, EU, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea as well as cooperate with domestic partners.

Since it was launched in 2013, Honor has become one of the most popular Chinese smartphone brands, shipping over 70 million units annually.

The brand generated more than $10 billion of revenue, according to Huawei, and market research firm IDC estimated that it accounted for 28 per cent of Huawei’s total smartphone shipments in the first half of this year.

Honor’s new owner, Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology, is a company that was recently set up for the acquisition. Founded by Shenzhen Smart City Technology Development Group, the company includes more than 30 agents and dealers of the Honor brand, including electronics products and appliance store Suning and several state-owned investment firms in Shenzhen, Huawei’s hometown.


Category: China

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