Despite reports to the contrary, Huawei says it has no plans to sell its smartphone business
Back in November, Huawei sold off its Honor sub-brand to a consortium for slightly more than $15 billion. Since Huawei no loner has anything to do with Honor, the latter is no longer handcuffed by the bans imposed on Huawei by the U.S. Commerce Department. As an independent company, Honor no longer needs to acquire a license to do business with U.S. suppliers of hardware and software including Google. More importantly. Honor won't be required to obtain a license to purchase chips manufactured by global foundries using American technology.
Huawei's smartphone business is not for sale says the company's co-founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei
Last month, there was speculation that Huawei was planning another blockbuster transaction. Reportedly, Huawei was discussing the sale of its flagship "Mate" and P" smartphone lines with another consortium that supposedly included investors and distributors backed by the Shanghai government. But since that rumor first was disseminated at the end of January, there have been no other reports about such a sale. And recently, the South China Morning Post spoke with Huawei co-founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei who says that Huawei has no plans to sell its smartphone business. The executive says that Huawei will never sell its consumer unit which includes smartphones.
Huawei will not sell its smartphone business says co-founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei
Ren is asking U.S. President Joe Biden to have a more open policy toward Chinese companies than his predecessor did. Under Donald Trump, the U.S. considered Chinese firms like Huawei, ZTE, ByteDance, SMIC, and others to be national security risks leading the U.S. to impose various restrictions on these companies. Zhengfei disseminated his comments on Tuesday during a roundtable meeting in Taiyuan.
Ren said, "Our company does not have the energy to be involved in this political whirlpool. We strive to make good products. We hope that the US government can have a more open policy for the benefit of American companies and the development of the US economy." The executive questions whether America's sanctions against Huawei actually benefits U.S. consumers. "Will the US blockade today lead to unexpected consequences?," he asked.
While Huawei has been one of the top three smartphone manufacturers over the last few years, the U.S. restrictions against it and the sale of its Honor sub-brand is expected to drop the company down to seventh this year. The manufacturer remains the globe's top supplier of networking equipment even though the U.S. lobbied its allies not to use the outfit's telecommunication components for their 5G networks.
So far, it doesn't appear as though the Biden administration has plans to remove the restrictions imposed on Huawei. The new president's nominee for Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo, said last week that she saw "no reason" why the U.S. should remove Huawei from the entity list. Even Huawei's Zhengfei doesn't expect that to occur any time soon. Huawei's CEO says that it will be "extremely difficult to remove Huawei from the entity list." The man who co-founded Huawei goes on to say that when it comes to his firm's removal from the the entity list, "I will not say it is impossible, but it is extremely difficult, so basically, we do not have that expectation. We just want to work hard, and we have plenty of money and can hire a lot of scientists."
Zhengfei says that Huawei is open to sharing its 5G technology with the U.S. "We have said before that our 5G technology can be transferred in its entirety." He goes on to state That includes not only the rights to development but also source programs and source codes. If the US needs our chip technology, we can transfer it. Our words are sincere [but] no company has come to negotiate with us so far."