华为任正非接受美国Time《时代》周刊采访纪要

2019-06-09 00:36 阅读 2,166 views 次 华为任正非接受美国Time《时代》周刊采访纪要已关闭评论

转自华为论坛,下面有中英文的任正非接受美国《时代》周刊采访纪要,任正非的回答非常得体,思路很敏捷,赞一个。

2019年4月12日

任总非常高兴接受你的采访。

记者:最近您接受了很多的采访,我本身并不想问一些问过的问题,很不幸大家对这些问题都很关注,我们也会尽力把这些问题问得更有意思一些。

任总你可以非常直接、非常尖锐,我也会非常坦诚地回答,我们就是一个沟通。其实我们已经完全没有什么面纱,但是外面仍然不相信我们健美的“身材”,经过多次沟通以后,相信人们会了解的。

记者:其实我上周就过来华为园区转了一圈,跟华为的同事沟通过,非常感谢有这个机会。

 

1、记者:华为刚刚发布了2018年的年报,2018年整体收入达到了1070亿美元,自华为创立以来,每年都在增长。您觉得华为未来能够做到多大?对于华为未来您是怎样构想的?

任正非:关于华为未来,我们关注的不是增长,而是如何为人类提供良好的服务。我们只是担忧技术进步速度不够快,跟不上人类需求的增长速度。通信世界正在逐步云化,现在是一小朵一小朵的云在世界各地开放,未来世界会联成一朵非常大的云。对于我们来说,能不能给世界提供服务是至关重要的。所以,我们把大量投资都转到对未来科学的研究上去,正在探索新的科学发现、新的技术发明,也在准备能创造一些能适合未来需求的产品。

大家也知道,中国近五百年来基本没有对世界输出大的科学技术的发明、发现的贡献。在世界走向云化时,我们希望我们能有所作为。所以,我们不仅公司内有大量科学家,还支持了很多大学教授和各国科学家对未来的探索。我们这些贡献是基于人类的需要,而不是基于我们自己能否有更好的财务报表。我们对世界大学的支持,是使用像美国的拜杜法案一样的规则,对他们资助,不占有成果。

 

2、记者:如您所说,近代中国确实在技术上落后于西方,不断地希望赶上来。现在似乎在5G上中国已经超过了西方,成为新的技术领域的先驱者,您觉得中国在技术上超过西方会是一个新的常态吗?

任正非:不可能。中国首先要在基础教育,特别是在中小学教育、农村教育上,要向西方学习,追上来;在高等学校的学风,像世界科学家一样,专注学术研究,博士的论文充满真知灼见,打好这个基础。这样经过五、六十年甚至一百年以后,才能来讨论这个问题。西方无论是在初等教育还是高等教育上,都有创造性方法;中国现在只有统一的考试方法,这让天才很难脱颖而出。

因此,中国短时期不会全面达到西方的科技水平。我们也在呼吁,希望国家重视教育,改变过去落后和跟随的状态,希望孩子有些独立思维,也希望能为世界输出技术上的贡献。5G只是一种工具,现在是被社会夸大了它的价值和作用,我认为5G对人类社会的贡献不会有想象中的那么巨大。

 

3记者:我知道2018年华为是所有企业中专利申请量最大的公司,但是现在美国仍然指责华为窃取知识产权,甚至说华为有鼓励员工窃取知识产权的奖金计划。华为在历史上有没有窃取过知识产权?

任正非:第一,我们公司高度重视知识产权,如果我们不尊重知识产权,我们公司可能已经不存在了,因为别人把我们偷光了。第二,在推动中国知识产权进步上,我们公司是有很大贡献的。

我们每一年的科研经费将近投资150-200亿美元,在全球散布着大量的科研能力中心,研发人员达八万人,偷是偷不来今天的领先水平的。个别人的违规是应受到惩处,这不代表公司的行为。

 

4、记者:现在美国对于华为的指责,您觉得是出于政治考虑吗?是想将华为作为和北京政府谈判的筹码吗?

任正非:也许吧。

记者:如果华为被当作人质,您的感觉是怎样的?您会感觉不公平吗?

任正非:华为有这么大的价值吗?华为没有这么大价值,在中美冲突中,像夹在中间的一个小番茄,没有这么重要的作用。

 

5、记者:现在您的女儿在加拿大被扣押,而且面临美国的引渡诉求,美国对她的指控是非常严重的,您会担心她的安全吗?

任正非:首先,必须要有事实;第二,必须要有证据。根据这两点,法庭要公开透明、公平、公正,才能证明是不是有问题。只要大家敢于把所有东西都公开,我们认为不存在什么问题。所以,对于这个事情,我们还是相信法庭。

 

6、记者:您认为针对孟晚舟的指控是政治驱动吗?

任正非:我并不知道驱动这件事件的人是怎么想的,我猜想也许吧。

记者:您应该经常和孟晚舟联系通话,她现在状态怎么样?

任正非:她现在很忙,在网上学习六门功课,希望在加拿大能拿到一个博士学位,她妈妈在陪伴她。她妈妈经常给我讲晚舟很忙,说她心情也挺好的。

记者:孟晚舟的孩子,也就是您的孙子这一代,面临目前的困境,他们现在的状态如何?

任正非:一是,小孩子本身也不是非常懂社会上的事情;二是,他们也体会妈妈的处境。所以,他们一放假就飞过去陪妈妈。

 

7记者:现在美国政府在网络设备上禁止使用华为的产品,为什么美国政府要这么做,背后的动机是什么?

任正非:我不知道美国的动机是什么,但是我们暂时不做美国市场也没多大关系,以前我们也进不去美国市场。

记者:您最近和很多美国媒体进行交流,说明华为是一个安全、合法的公司,应该还是想在美国发展业务的吧?

任正非:不是想进入或服务美国市场。而是美国太重视我们的存在了,希望给大家揭开面纱,增进人们和我们的相互理解。至于美国市场有没有可能进去,并不重要,因为没有美国市场我们也是世界第一,我们没有迫切需要美国市场的概念。我们和美国媒体沟通,是想消除很多误解。就像你们一样,在没来参观华为时,和今天真实看到我们后,对我们的理解会有所不同。如果有机会,欢迎你们参观我们的尖端实验室,你们会知道我们的科学家是如何领先世界的。

美国的企业家和科学家对华为是非常了解的,他们这段时间也经常和我交流,会加强合作。美国政治家对华为了解不够,只有靠媒体宣传,让他们想象华为是什么样子。仅凭想象,完全没有亲临过华为,是不会知道华为真实是什么样的。其实美国政治家也可以找一些美国科学家和相关企业座谈,他们对我们比较清楚,也许会加强对我们的了解。

 

8记者:您刚才说,华为现在已经是世界第一了,美国即使不用你们的设备也没有关系。但是华为的5G是世界上最先进的,不引入华为的5G,对美国的经济和民众的利益不是最好的,您觉得美国政府此举是不是伤害了他们自己的利益?

任正非:这个世界是需要合作共赢的,相互促进才会互相受益。美国之所以从一个很小的国家变成世界第一强大的国家,是因为美国两百多年奉行的开放政策。开放是有利于经济发展的,全球化对美国是很有利的,如果美国制定一些政策,这个东西不能卖给哪些国家,那个东西不能卖给哪些国家,你不卖,赚的钱就少了,经济发展一定受影响。所以,开放是美国最好的政策。中国一定要向美国学习,增进开放,如果不增进开放,中国也发展不起来。

邓小平之所以那么伟大,就是把五千年封闭的中国开放了,通过三、四十年,让中国实现了初步的繁荣。我们这一代人是经历过没有开放前的中国那个年代的,我们那时的理想不是想穿一件好衣服,只想吃饱饭。现在不仅吃饱了饭,还有肉吃了。所以,要看到中国的进步。中国在政治上的进步也是非常大的,在三、四十年前,我们要像现在这样面对面采访,简直不可能。如果我在街上遇到你,我看到你就要跑,因为一接触可能就是我的政治风险。现在我跟你面对面采访,之前还接受那么多媒体采访,媒体很担忧我讲了那么多话,会不会北京给我打电话说我讲错了。其实没人管我这件事,说明中国在政治上也进步了,大家要承认这种进步。

中美两国之间要加大合作才能共赢。中国有十三亿人口的市场,美国有先进的科学技术,这两者结合起来就是世界经济的发动机,带领世界走出困境。如果有领导问我,我就是一句话“希望中国走向更加开放的政策。”

记者:我相信如果你想通过打电话把你的建议给到中国政府,政府一定会接这个电话的。

任正非:但是我没有电话号码啊。

 

9记者:美国政府的另外一个指控,说华为的产品中存在后门,可能被中国政府所利用,您之前有表态,宁可解散公司也不会背叛客户,但是如果说中国政府有这样的要求,您会宁可坐牢也不会去做这件事吗?

任正非:这句话我过去讲过,现在也没有变化,还是坚持这个道路。如果在世界任何一个国家发现华为公司有后门,那么我们在170多个国家的销售就会受到严重影响,我们的收入就会大衰退。其他员工都可以离开公司去就业,因为他们有技术、有本事,唯有我是不能走的。如果面临几百亿的债务要我偿还给银行,我认为这比死亡还痛苦。坐牢比起留在外面受追债的痛苦,相对还是更好的选择。

当时我在表达这个态度时,还没有听到中国政府的声音。在慕尼黑安全会议上,中共中央政治局委员、中央外事工作委员会办公室主任杨洁篪表态“中国政府一贯要求中国企业遵守国际规则和运营所在国法律法规。中国没有任何法律要求企业安装后门或收集外国情报”。随后李克强总理在第四届人大会后答记者问时,重申了这个问题。有了中国领导人来讲话,应该是代表了国家的态度。最近李克强总理在杜布罗夫尼克参观我们“16+1”展台时,又叮嘱我们一定不要装后门。

我们现在也在推动与各国政府签订“华为网络无后门、无间谍行为”协议,我们也建议全世界都应该有统一的规则和公约,无论网络运营商、网络设备商,都不允许安装后门。当然,全世界如果还不能达成公约,我们愿意推动中国政府与一些国家政府签订“华为网络无后门、无间谍行为”协议。关于对我坐牢的担心,你可以放心,我不会坐牢了。

 

10、记者:上个月华为的首席法务官宋柳平公开承认:中国的法律要求中国的企业在打击犯罪、反恐的事务上提供协助。如果说中国政府向华为提出这样的诉求,华为是需要提供相关的信息?

任正非:这不是我们提供的,是公安系统自己的网络提供的,与我们没关系。

记者:也就是说,公安能够有权限进入华为的系统获取数据吗?

任正非:不是华为的系统,是公安的系统,是电信运营商的系统,我想任何一个主权国家的政府,对自己国内的管辖都是有权力的。

 

11、记者:中国政府在此前有没有给华为提出任何获取客户保密信息的要求?

任正非:一次也没有过。网络的主权由所在国家和所在国家的运营商拥有,华为只是卖了一个裸设备给他们,华为不存在权力或能力做任何事情。有些网络设备由于故障,当地运营商的工程师维护不了,请求我们维护,我们必须要得到当地运营商的批准,才能进入这个网络。华为在完成这个任务以后,要把所有数据重新还回运营商去。

 

12、记者:我们知道现在英国政府正在与华为合作来评估华为系统的安全性,华为把所有的源代码提交给英国进行审核,英国的表态是在这些设备中没有任何后门,但是系统中存在很多的小的各种各样问题和BUG,这些会让您担心吗?

任正非:我认为,任何技术进步都是一个渐进的过程。我们不是仙女,一下凡就是完美的,所以我们是在不断进步,发现我们的问题是正常的。我不是说我们的设备没问题,而是说我们的设备没有任何恶意的问题。

 

13、记者:您在军队里待过,这段经历如何影响您管理华为的风格?

任正非:我在军队时是一个很低阶的工程师,而且没有管理过军队,就只是从一个技术员升为工程师。如果说我有一点军队的知识,应该是从网上看来的,更多是在西点军校和美国将领的传记中看来的。我会对比一下美国将领和苏联将领在作战过程中的管理有什么不同,来确定应该怎么学习管理方法。

因为我在军队的职务太低,根本没有什么经验,如果我懂一些术语,都是从网上看来的。我这个人没有任何兴趣爱好,除了上班修改文件,就是看书、上网,胡乱看网上信息,有时还看看抖音。

 

14、记者:华为在早期是有一些跟中国军队和中国政府的合同,这些合同对于华为初期的成功有多大的重要性?

任正非:首先,我们没有中国政府和中国军队的合同,我们的合同来自电信运营商,电信运营商不代表政府。早期我们的设备很落后,除了卖给农村外,我们连县城都进不了。经历十几年的艰难困苦以后,我们才在运营商里有了一点点地位,这时候才能开始进入县一级的城市。

 

15、记者:今天华为已经做到了世界第一,我想知道华为在中国政府、中国制造2025战略中发挥怎样的角色和作用?

任正非:我们在2025计划中没有发挥太大作用,我们还是继续走自己路。中国2025计划是想要像德国工业4.0一样,提升中国工业化进程,但是这个进程与德国还有很大差距。中国大量的工业还处于手工作业,必须要从劳动力密集的手工作业走向机械化,机械化以后还要走向自动化,自动化以后还要走向信息化,在这个基础上,我们才能说可以开始走工业4.0的道路。现在我们大量的工业还没有走到自动化,2025只是一个指引,让中国企业有一个改进的方向。我们公司的生产线大量使用的是德国、日本的设备,使用西门子、博世、达索的软件,有大量的博士、硕士参加生产线上运行、改进、研究,基本实现了半人工智能的方式。

 

16、记者:中国政府似乎把华为看得非常重要,您的女儿孟晚舟在加拿大被捕之后,几个加拿大人在中国也被捕了,中国还停止了加拿大油菜籽的进口。从外界角度来看,把这些事情紧密关联在一起,您能理解外界的关联吗?

任正非:我不知道这些事有什么关联,我只知道,孟晚舟本人在加拿大和美国都没有犯罪,抓孟晚舟本来就是一个错误。但是,中国政府对本国公民提供领事保护,我认为是正确的。她还是一个大公司的高管,随便就被抓起来。

记者:这些加拿大人在中国没有经过司法程序就被捕了,这样是否不利于华为的形象?

任正非:我根本不了解国家的做法,我只了解华为,所以无法解释这个问题。但是,我认为美国是世界上科技最发达的国家,过去几十年是绝对的强势,未来几十年还是相对优势的,美国应该有信心,华为这个“小兔子”不可能颠覆一个产业,应该对华为加强友好,公平地对待华为。

我年轻时就很亲美,直到今天,我也是亲美的。如果你把我这几十年来对公司的指导文件仔细读一遍,发现全是美国精神。所以,美国政治家的抓手应该是抓错了。华为公司在社会主义国家,但成长的方式其实是员工资本主义,因为我们把资本都分给了员工,是促使各方面进行融合的“润滑剂”,改变消除了对立。怎么今天对“润滑剂”用力地打一大棒呢?

 

17、记者:您把您自己看成社会主义者吗?

任正非:不要把社会主义和资本主义作为政治制度来看,我认为社会主义制度和资本主义制度都是一种分配制度。社会主义制度是按照自己劳动的贡献来分配,多劳多得;资本主义是按照自己资本投资额度来分配。比如,在码头上扛麻袋,我只能扛一包,你个子大能扛三包,收入就是我的三倍,我们之间的差距是两倍。如果是资本主义,你有100亿美元的资本,我有50万美元的资本,我们的盈利能力同样都是10%,那你的盈利就是10亿美元,我是5万美元,这个差距是因为资本没有生命,资本累计是几何指数,所以拉大了贫富悬殊。

我们公司认为多贡献就要多拿钱,我们有一个梯次分配曲线;我认为差距不要太大。这就是邓小平的中国发展的目标是社会主义加市场经济。社会主义讲公平,市场经济讲有差距,“火车头”总要多拿一点嘛,两者平衡一下,不要差距拉得过大。为什么过去有些人搞社会主义不成功?他们把公平理解为平均主义了。所以,邓小平提出“我们是在社会主义的初级阶段”,什么叫初级阶段?就是承认收入分配有差距。所以邓小平讲了“要让一部分人先富起来,先富的一定要帮后富”,您是否认为他讲的话与新教文化有没有一致的地方?天主教的文化就是要公平的,马丁路德的宗教改革就是允许人有差距,就是这样一句话,促进了五百年来西方的繁荣。

 

18、记者:中国政府想给您颁发改革开放四十年的奖,您拒绝了,为什么拒绝?

任正非:你认为出名对我有意义吗?我是一个想出名的人吗?我应该是一个埋头苦干的人。一旦我获奖以后,就要参加很多社会活动,国家和各级政府都会给我光荣,光荣多了,那我就没有时间修改文件了。我还是喜欢把华为做好一些,对我才是最大的实际。把光荣的大红花让给别人,有什么不好呢?

大家都知道,我其实是一个不太重视历史的人,我过去获得过一些光荣,但是我基本都丢光了,根本没有保留什么纪念品。所以,我一门心思往前走,不想停下来去“戴帽子”拿个奖章。如果我想要得到荣誉的话,那么早就有很多荣誉了。摆一桌子的奖章,能证明我能干吗?能证明我把5G做好了吗?

记者:您是共产党党员吗?

任正非:是的。

记者:这会不会有点奇怪,您刻意跟政府保持距离,政府颁的奖都拒绝了,为什么还是党员呢?

任正非:只要有信仰,过组织生活就是党员,并不一定要拿奖啊。如果八千万党员都要发奖章,那需要多少金属材料呀。

 

19、记者:您会不会觉得其他的国家(包括华为海外的客户)担心您在党和公司之间如何分配忠诚?

任正非:我是要忠诚的,我忠诚于客户。共产党的忠诚,是忠诚于人民。我是忠诚于客户,两者不矛盾。

 

20、记者:华为园区给我留下非常深刻的印象,有非常多的建筑风格,这是您自己规划的吗?做这样的建筑设计的初衷和想法是什么?

任正非:我们的建筑都是通过国际招标,著名建筑师来参与投标,被基建部选中。比如,松山湖基地是日本人冈本设计的,他在美国读了本科、硕士、博士,但不会讲英文,是一个天才,所以他画画很厉害,就中标了,把松山湖基地建成了今天这样。

记者:所以,一个日本人在美国接受了教育,在华为东莞建了一个欧洲小镇,这非常有意思。

任正非:是。如果你愿意见这个人,他今天应该在松山湖,我可以安排他与你见个面、吃个晚餐。

记者:您非常友善,谢谢。

 

21、记者:现在的美国总统经常针对中国说一些非常有侵略性的话,比如说中国窃取了美国的就业机会,您对于特朗普怎么看?

任正非:特朗普讲这些话,其实是给中国政府一个提醒,我们要真正把自己的事情搞好,如果搞不好,就会被别人打垮。我们要注意自己的内涵发展。

记者:您似乎更多站在特朗普这边,而不是中国政府这边?

任正非:特朗普推动我们改革,这有什么不好呢?

 

22、记者:现在看到美国、澳大利亚、日本这几个国家已经决定不买华为的5G设备,但是另外一方面,其他绝大多数国家还是愿意继续使用华为的设备。您觉得随着5G的出现,未来技术会不会出现两大阵营,两大阵营彼此不通?

任正非:这个世界走过了很多弯曲的道路,首先是火车,有宽轨、标轨、窄轨,给世界贸易增加了很大困难。还好火车速度慢,对世界影响不大。通信设备也出现过多种标准,直到4G还是有三项标准存在,它增大了运营商的成本,也增加了消费者的支出,所以世界才追求统一的标准来降低成本、提高速度,为消费者更好地提供服务。5G已经通过了世界统一标准,不是政治家画根线就出现两个版本,这一定会增加非常高的成本。何况,5G是全球数十万科学家、工程师通过十多年的努力才形成的标准,随随便便就推翻了没那么容易。

 

23、记者:您之前也提到5G的影响被夸大了,但是考虑到华为在5G上投入的金钱和精力,这听起来有点奇怪。

任正非:华为钱太多,用不完,如果不往前投入,就只有分给员工。员工都很肥了,怎么跑得快呢?所以,我们只有往前投。如果我们把价格定得很低,才是对世界的破坏,对西方公司的残杀;当我们价格定得比较高,就给其他公司留下了生存的空间,因此我们在获得的超额利润中,就拿去支持大学、支持科学家进行更多的未来探索和研究。我们与大学合作,采用了像美国拜杜法案一样的原则,我们是资助,研究出来的成果是归大学,不是归我们。

 

24、记者:刚才提到了抖音应用,您觉得人工智能对于电信行业,包括对于整个社会带来多大的影响?

任正非:人工智能不只是对电信行业,对人类社会都有巨大影响,它可以使生产的过程高度智能化,大大提高效益。如果拖拉机用人工智能控制,它24小时都在种地,不需要睡觉,一些恶劣的环境中人工智能也可以作业。所以,人工智能会促进人类社会的物质财富和精神财富的极大丰富,在这个问题上,全世界各个国家都要高度重视。现在美国处于人工智能技术的领先地位。

记者:也有很多人担心AI会代替人类的工作,会带来社会上、政治上不稳定的因素,您会有这样的担心吗?

任正非:这些都是不懂人工智能的社会学家、政治家、文学家想象出来的。科学家们是致力于提高生产效率,改变人类工作的方法,促进社会的精神和物质文化丰富。你们是否参观过我们的生产线吗?那还是部分人工智能,未来会缩小到只有五、六个人,这样大大提高了效率。

西方国家的高工资、高福利、工会罢工……,这些社会问题导致西方在过去二、三十年工业发展过程中受到一些挫折,产业转移到劳动保护不那么过度的国家去了。未来的生产方式不需要这么多人力,西方的优势又重新发挥出来。如果将来一个人工智能的机器人能代替十个人的工作,那么美国就是30亿人口的工业大国。

记者:您对于未来五十年、三百年之后的社会是怎样展望的?工厂里还有人类在工作呢,还是全是AI?

任正非:当然,终归还是有一部分人类要工作的,这部分人的工作待遇会非常高。另外一部分不工作的人生活比较幸福,不需要干活也可以生活得好。所以,如果还想要工作,就要努力学习,社会风气反而会进步,而不是落后。

 

25、记者:是不是意味着税收体系也要进行改革,来保护不去或者不想去工作的人呢?

任正非:如何改革税法是国家的行为,我就不知道了。中国政府之所以那么重视我们,因为我们每年在全世界缴税接近200亿美元,这些税基本是孟晚舟管着缴的。美国以为把孟晚舟抓起来,我们就缴不成税了?不会的,但我们已经是制度化、流程化的公司,即使孟晚舟不在,公司也是正常运作。

记者:因为缴这么多税,所以你想说什么就说什么,却没有收到北京的电话?

任正非:我本来说的就没有错话,为什么要来电话?我们刚才沟通过程中说的哪句话是错的?

记者:没有,没有。

   

26、记者:华为有一名员工在波兰被捕,被指控从事间谍行为,对于这个指控您的回应是什么?

任正非:公司所有员工都不能触犯所在国家的法律,如果触犯了我们都是不容忍的。

记者:所以您承认这个员工代表了一个权力在做这个事情吗?

任正非:我不知道,但是我们支持所在国行使法律权利。第一,我们内、外合规,内部自己监督;第二,我们也希望得到外部的监督。如果我们放任自流,公司早就毁灭了。

Ren Zhengfei's Interview with Time

April 12, 2019, Shenzhen, China

Ren: It's a great pleasure for me to be with you here today.

Time: Fantastic. I know you've given a lot of interviews recently. I don't want to go over the same questions again, but unfortunately, we have to hear you in your own words answering some questions. I know it would be quite familiar to you. But please bear with us and we'll try to make it a bit more interesting this time.

Ren: You can be very direct or even very tough in bringing up your questions and I will be very honest in giving you my answers. I sometimes feel like the veil of mystery has been lifted from Huawei, but some people just refuse to believe us. I trust that if we continue to communicate like this, they will get to understand us eventually.

I have spent last week touring your campus and meeting a lot of your colleagues. And this has been a great experience and it's very impressive.

Q1: You just posted your annual revenue of 107 billion US dollars and Huawei has been growing every year since you founded the company. How big can Huawei get? What's your goal in mind?

Ren: It is not the size of the business that we are after. We aspire to provide good services to all. We're just concerned that technological advancement cannot keep pace with people's ever-evolving needs. The communications world is migrating to the cloud step by step. Now, there are many small clouds spreading all over the world. In the future, all these small clouds will be connected to form a huge, global cloud. What matters most to Huawei is whether we have the ability to serve that global market. Therefore, we invest a lot into future-oriented scientific research. We're trying to explore some of the new scientific discoveries and technological inventions, and preparing to invent products that can better adapt to future needs.

As you know, over the last 500 years or so, China has not made significant contributions to the world in terms of scientific and technological invention and discovery. We hope we can make a difference now as it migrates to the cloud. To achieve this, we have brought a large number of scientists onboard at Huawei. At the same time, we also support outside scientists and college professors from around the world, helping them explore the future. What we are doing now aims to address the needs of humanity. It's not all about the balance sheet. As we work with universities, we adopt principles similar to how investment works according to the US's Bayh-Dole Act. That means we provide funds, but the research findings belong to the professors, not Huawei.

Q2: At the moment, just as what you have said, China is lagging behind in technology and striving to catch up with the West. It seems that 5G is the moment where China has overtaken the West and is pioneering new technology. Do you think this is the new normal now that China will always be ahead of the West?

Ren: That's impossible. China has to learn from and catch up with the West when it comes to basic education, including education in elementary schools and middle schools, especially in rural areas. Higher education institutions should focus on academic research, like scientists do. Doctoral papers should be full of insight. We must lay a solid foundation in this aspect. So the better time for us to discuss the question you've just raised would probably be 50 to 60 years or even 100 years from now. The West has creative approaches to all different types of education, ranging from elementary education to higher education, but China still takes a unified approach: exams. With this approach, it's difficult for geniuses to emerge in China.

For that reason, I think it's unlikely that China can catch up with the West within a short period of time in every regard of science and technology. That's why we've been calling for the Chinese government to pay more attention to education, and to change its status as an underdeveloped country and a follower. Children should think independently. We also hope China can make technological contributions to the world in the future.

5G is only a tool. Its value and role have been exaggerated. We don't think the contribution that 5G will make to society will be as enormous as some people have imagined.

Q3: I learned that Huawei filed the largest number of patents last year worldwide. But the US still accuses Huawei of stealing intellectual property, and in fact, of having a bonus system for employees who steal intellectual property. Has Huawei ever stolen intellectual property?

Ren: First, Huawei highly respects intellectual property rights; otherwise, we would have disappeared because our intellectual property may have been stolen by others.

Second, Huawei has done a lot to drive IPR protection in China. Our annual R&D investment is between 15 billion and 20 billion US dollars. Our R&D competence centers are scattered around the world, and we have around 80,000 R&D employees. We are already a leading player. That is not something you can achieve by stealing from others. Individual employees will be punished for their wrongdoings, and they do not represent Huawei.

Q4: Regarding these allegations by the US, do you think they are doing this because they want to use Huawei as leverage to get a better trade deal with the Beijing government?

Ren: Maybe.

Have you felt as though you are being used as a pawn? Do you think it's unfair?

Ren: I just wonder, is Huawei that valuable? I don't think the company is so valuable as to play a role in China-US negotiations. We are like a small tomato stuck between the two countries.

Q5: Your daughter was arrested in Canada and is expected to be extradited to the US. There are very serious charges against her, do you fear for her safety?

Ren: All charges must be based on fact and substantiated with evidence. Then, with open, transparent, fair, and just legal proceedings, we will know whether or not we actually have a problem. We don't think there will be any problem as long as everything is made public. We still place our faith in the courts.

Q6: Do you believe the charges against her are politically motivated?

Ren: Maybe. I don't know for sure what those people who started this were thinking, so I can only guess.

I imagine you are in constant contact with Meng Wanzhou and you speak to her a lot. How is she doing?

Ren: She has been busy these days, taking six online courses. She hopes to get a PhD in Canada. Her mother is with her right now and has often told me that Wanzhou is always busy and in good mood.

What about her children, your grandchildren? How are they coping with the estrangement?

Ren: They are still young, so they don't necessarily understand what is really going on. They can definitely feel that their mother is going through something tough. Whenever they have a break from school, they fly to Canada to be with their mother.

Q7: At the moment, the US government has banned Huawei from its infrastructure. Why do you think is this? What do you think lie behind?

Ren: I don't know their motives, but it doesn't matter much to Huawei if we aren't present in the US market. We haven't ever really been present in the US market.

It seems at the moment you're speaking to a lot of American media, trying to convince America that Huawei products are safe and that Huawei is a legitimate company, so you must want to be present in America.

Ren: No, we don't want to enter or serve the US market. The US is taking us too seriously. So we hope that through these dialogues, we can reveal the truth and better understand each other. Whether we can establish our presence in the US market is not that important to us, because even without the US market, we have already become the world's number one. So, we are not in dire need of building our presence in the US market.

By having dialogues with the US media outlets, we want to dispel misconceptions about Huawei. For example, your understanding of Huawei must have changed after visiting us. You are welcome to visit our top labs. I think you'll see how our scientists lead the world.

Actually, scientists and entrepreneurs in the US know Huawei pretty well. I have spoken with them quite a lot recently, and we will further our cooperation with each other. But US politicians do not know much about Huawei. So, what we can do is give them a better idea of Huawei through media coverage. If they only rely on their imagination and don't come to visit Huawei, it will be hard for them to understand what Huawei is truly like.

As I said earlier, some US scientists and companies know Huawei pretty well. So I think maybe US politicians should talk to US scientists and companies more, so that they can have a better understanding of Huawei.

Q8: You said it doesn't matter for Huawei if America doesn't buy Huawei products because you are already number one. But for America, Huawei's 5G is by far the most advanced in the world. Do you think that the American government is doing the American people a disservice by not investing in Huawei because of the benefits 5G could bring for the American economy? I mean, do you think that the American government is doing the American people a disservice because Huawei has the potential to aid the American economy and industry with this 5G?

Ren: I think collaboration for shared success is vital in today's world. Working together to reinforce each other will lead to shared success. The US has remained open over the last 200-plus years, which is the fundamental reason the US has risen from a small country to the most powerful nation in the world.

Openness is conducive to economic development, and globalization is in the interest of the US. If the US government comes up with policies that ban the sale of certain things to certain countries, American companies will make less money, which will affect the US economy.

Therefore, openness is the best policy for the US, and China must learn from the US to become more open to the outside world. Otherwise, the Chinese economy will not be able to continue developing.

Deng Xiaoping is great primarily because he opened China's doors to the outside world – doors that had remained closed for roughly 5,000 years. Because of him, China has seen initial prosperity after just 40 years' efforts.

People of my generation experienced a period when China was closed off from the world. The ideal we had back then was not to wear fancy clothes. We just wanted enough food for ourselves. Things are totally different today. We are more than able to feed ourselves, and we even have a lot of meat to eat. This is the progress that China has made, and we should take notice.

In addition, China has made substantial political progress. For example, 30 to 40 years ago, it was simply impossible to have face-to-face interviews like the one we are having now. If I ran into you on the street, I would immediately turn around and run away because talking with you would be a political risk.

Now, we're having this face-to-face interview, and I've talked to many other media outlets. Many of them are concerned that I may get a phone call from Beijing telling me I have said something wrong, but I haven't received such calls. That shows the political progress that China has made. I think this is progress that people should acknowledge.

I believe China and the US must enhance their collaboration in order to achieve shared success. China is a market of 1.3 billion people, while the US has advanced science and technology. If these two come together, it will form an engine that can drive the world economy forward and take the world out of its current difficult situation.

If I had an opportunity to talk to the leadership of the Chinese government, my only suggestion to them would be that China should become more open.

So the government would take your phone call if you want to contact them?

Ren: Perhaps, but I don't have their phone numbers.

Q9: The American government accuses Huawei technology of having backdoors which can be exploited by the Chinese government. You said before that you'd rather disband the company than betray your customers. But would you be willing to go to jail to challenge the Chinese government if they made a demand?

Ren: I have said this in the past, and my position remains the same today. If any country identified a malicious backdoor in Huawei's devices, our business in over 170 countries would be severely impacted, and our revenue would decline sharply. By then, all our employees would have left Huawei. They could start their own businesses with their technical know-how and other capabilities. But I would have to stay. I think having to repay tens of billions in bank loans on my own would be more miserable than death. Comparatively, I think going to jail is a better option.

When I first expressed this position, I had not heard anything in response from the Chinese government. At the Munich Security Conference, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, made it very clear that the Chinese government always requires Chinese firms to abide by international rules and the laws and regulations of the countries where they operate. He also pointed out that China has no law requiring companies to install "backdoors" or collect foreign intelligence. Premier Li Keqiang then further reiterated that position at a press conference held after a recent session of the National People's Congress. I believe that they, as top government leaders, accurately represent China's position. Recently, when Premier Li Keqiang visited our booth in the "16+1 Summit" in Dubrovnik, he repeatedly told us not to install backdoors.

Now, Huawei is pushing for the signing of a no-backdoor and no-spy agreement with multiple governments. It is also our suggestion that there should be a unified global rule or agreement barring all telecom operators and equipment vendors from installing backdoors. However, it might take a while for the whole world to agree on this. From Huawei's point of view, we're ready to push the Chinese government to sign a no-backdoor and no-spy agreement with any other willing government. In light of this, I'm sure you understand why I'm not concerned about going to jail.

Q10: Yet, just last month, Huawei's Chief Legal Officer Song Liuping publicly acknowledged that Chinese laws may require companies to respond to government requests for assistance and help against terrorism and criminal activities. If such a request was made, would you feel obliged to hand over information even if you were not sure of the charges or the premises?

Ren: The information would not be coming from Huawei. It would come from the networks owned by the public security authorities. This has nothing to do with us.

But how do the public security authorities have access to Huawei's technology, the data?

Ren: They wouldn't access Huawei's systems. They would get the data from their public security systems, the systems supported by telecom operators. All governments of sovereign states have the power of governance within their states.

Q11: Has the Chinese government ever made a request to you for confidential customer information?

Ren: No, not even once. The networks are owned by telecom operators and the states. Huawei is just an equipment provider. We don't have any authority or ability to do anything on the networks.

When something goes wrong with network equipment and a telecom operator's in-house engineers cannot deal with it, they ask Huawei for maintenance. However, we can only work on equipment after we have obtained approval from the telecom operator. And after the work is done, we need to return all of the data to the telecom operator.

Q12: I understand that the UK government is working with Huawei to assess the security of Huawei's systems. Huawei handed over all source code to the UK government for examination. The UK government has not found any backdoors at all, but has found some bugs and glitches in Huawei's software. Does that concern you?

Ren: I think that technologies are always evolving. We are only human. We can never be perfect. Rather, we just keep getting better. It's normal for them to find areas that we need to improve. We are not saying that our equipment is perfect. We are just saying there is no malicious issue with our equipment.

Q13: You come from a military background. How does that influence the way that you run your company?

Ren: I was a low-ranking engineer when I was with the military. And I had no managerial experience there. I started as a technician and was kind of promoted to engineer. If I know a thing or two about the military, I probably learned from the Internet. I studied West Point and biographies of American generals. I would compare the differences in the way that American generals and former Soviet Union generals managed their militaries, and try to take some inspiration and apply what I've learned to Huawei.

Because I was in such a low-level position when I was in the military and didn't gain much experience there, I learned most of what I know about the military from the Internet. I'm a person who does not have many hobbies. Besides coming to work and revising our corporate documents, I do some reading, I surf the Internet, and I even spend some time on a video app called Douyin, known as TikTok outside China.

Q14: No. Oh. TikTok. So, some of Huawei's earliest contracts were with the Chinese military and the Chinese government. I mean, how important were they to the success of Huawei during the early days?

Ren: First of all, we have never relied on contracts with the Chinese government or military for our development. Our contracts are signed with Chinese telecom operators. Those operators are not the government. What's worth noting is that in our early days, our equipment was not that advanced, so we could only sell it to rural areas. We couldn't even manage to make county-wide sales.

Through a dozen years of effort and despite tremendous difficulties since our founding, we managed to establish a presence in the telecom operator market. That's when we started to sell in China's county-level cities.

Q15: Today, Huawei is number one in the world. I'm just wondering what is Huawei's role in the Chinese government's "Made in China 2025" strategy?

Ren: Huawei does not play a very big role in China's "Made in China 2025" strategy. We are just continuing to follow our own path. I think maybe the "Made in China 2025" initiative has a similar purpose to Germany's Industry 4.0 – to expedite the national industrialization process. However, there's a big gap between China and Germany in terms of industrialization.

In China, a significant portion of industry is still based on manual work, so the first step is to move from labor-intensive manual work to mechanization. The next step following that is automation, and then the adoption of information technology. Only after all these steps are completed can we talk about China being on the same track as Industry 4.0.

Currently, a lot of our industry is still not automated. "Made in China 2025" is just giving Chinese companies a new direction. Most of our equipment used in our production lines is from Germany and Japan. Our software is from Siemens, Bosch, and Dassault. Many master's and doctorate degree holders are working on our production lines, operating them, doing research, and improving the way our production lines work. We have basically achieved semi-AI-empowerment on our production lines.

Q16: But it seems that the Chinese government seems to treat Huawei with great importance. And after your daughter Meng Wanzhou was arrested, about a dozen of Canadians were arrested in response, while China also banned Canadian imports of canola. This can be seen as a cooling of the relationship between the countries. Can you see why, from the outside, it might seem that the Chinese government and Huawei are closely linked?

Ren: I don't know why people have this association or what it means. What I do know is that Meng Wanzhou has not committed any crime in Canada or the US. Arresting Wanzhou isn't the right move. However, I think it is right for the Chinese government to provide consular protection to its citizen. She is an executive of a large company and was arrested for no reason.

But don't you think that it is counterproductive for Huawei, because of the image it sets out, if people are extra-judicially detained, in response?

Ren: I don't know the specifics of the cases you mentioned. I only know what's going on with Huawei. I don't think I am able to explain.

The US is the most advanced nation when it comes to science and technology. The country has enjoyed absolute leadership over the last several decades in this area. And in the next several decades to come, the US will continue to enjoy relative leadership. I think the US should be more confident in the fact that Huawei is like a small rabbit, without the capacity to disrupt any industry. Therefore, they should be friendlier to Huawei and treat us fairly.

Since I was young, I have been a fan of the United States. Here today, I remain a fan of the United States. If you carefully read through the corporate documents I have issued over the last several decades, you will find that they are full of American spirit. I think some US politicians may be wrong if they are trying to find leverage. The way Huawei has grown in China – a socialist country – is more to do with what I call "employee capitalism", because we distribute our capital to our employees. So we're facilitating the integration of different things and reducing confrontation. Why is this facilitator now becoming a target of the US?

Q17: Do you consider yourself a socialist?

Ren: Let's not look at socialism and capitalism as purely political systems. To me, socialism and capitalism are just wealth distribution systems. Socialism is about distributing wealth based on how much labor one put in and their contributions. Those who contribute more will get more. Capitalism is about distributing wealth based on the size of your investment.

For example, if we were dockhands and I could only carry one bag while you could carry three, then your income should be three times of mine. There would be a 200% gap. But, in capitalism, if you invested 10 billion dollars while I invested 500,000 dollars, and our profit margin was both 10%, then you would earn 1 billion dollars and I'll only earn 50,000 dollars. This gap exists because capital has no life and can grow exponentially. That's how the income gap has widened.

At Huawei, we believe that those who contribute more should get paid more. We have a hierarchical distribution curve. I believe that income disparity shouldn't be too significant. That's why Deng Xiaoping proposed that China develop a socialist market economy. Socialism emphasizes equity, while market economies allow for differences. Top contributors deserve to be rewarded more, but disparity should not be too significant as I just said. There should be a balance. Why didn't socialism work in the past? The answer is because many people understood equity as egalitarianism.

Deng Xiaoping also proposed that China had only achieved the initial stage of socialism. What did he mean by the initial stage? He meant that we acknowledged the existence of income disparity. Deng was also famous for saying, "Let some people get rich first and they need to help those who are left behind get rich as well."

Deng's theory is actually somewhat similar to Protestantism, don't you think? Catholicism was always focused on communal obligation, but Martin Luther's reform allowed individuals to stand on their own, leading to 500 years of prosperity in the West.

Q18: The Chinese government recently gave you an award to remark the 40 Years of opening and reform, and I believe you turned it down. Can you let us know why?

Ren: Do you think becoming famous means anything to me? Do you think I'm the kind of person who wants to be famous? I'm a person dedicated to my work. If I had accepted the award, I would have had to attend a lot of events, socializing with different people outside Huawei. And I would have been given honors by governments at all levels. Then I would have no time to revise corporate documents. I would rather focus on how to turn Huawei into a better company. That's a more practical thing for me to do. What's wrong with letting someone else have the glory?

I'm a person who doesn't care so much about the past. I have won some honorary titles, but I have lost almost all of them. I haven't even kept a single memento. I just keep pressing forward. I don't want to stop and accept an award. If I were the kind of person that liked to accept awards, I would have accepted a lot. If I had a lot of medals to show off, would that mean I'm a capable person? Would that mean I could make better 5G technologies?

Are you a member of the Communist Party?

Ren: Yes, I am.

Do you think it's strange because you try to distance yourself from the government a lot. And you say that you turned down these awards and you want to concentrate on the company. So why are you a member of the Communist Party?

Ren: Being a Party member does not mean you have to accept those awards. As long as you have faith and attend some learning sessions, you can become a Party member. If being a Party member meant you had to accept some medals, how much metal would China need to produce enough medals for all the 80 million Party members?

Q19: Do you not see that other countries or customers abroad might feel concerned that you have split loyalties to the party and also to your company?

Ren: I do have a sense of loyalty, but it is to my customers. As for the Communist Party of China, their loyalty is to the Chinese people. But again, my loyalty is to my customers. I don't think there is a conflict.

Q20: Your campus here is really magnificent. There are all kinds of architectural styles. Did you plan all of this? Where does the impetus and inspiration for Huawei's amazing campus come from?

Ren: We run an international open tender process for construction projects. Architects from around the world participate in the bidding process. Our Capital Construction Department reviews those tenders and selects a winner.

For example, the architect for our Songshan Lake campus is a Japanese man named Takashi Okamoto. He got his Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD degrees in the US, yet he does not speak English. But he's a genius. He's great at drawing, and he won the bid for the Songshan Lake project. That's how the campus came to look like what it is today.

The Japanese was educated in America but made a campus recalling Europe. That is very interesting.

Ren: Yes, indeed. I think he is here at Songshan Lake today. If you want to talk with him, I can arrange for that. You guys can talk and have a dinner together.

That's very kind. Thank you.

Q21: At the moment, America has a President who says quite aggressive things about China, accuses China of stealing American jobs and this kind of thing. What is your opinion about President Trump?

Ren: I think that by saying these things, President Trump is reminding the Chinese government that China needs to really deal with their own things. Otherwise, it might end up being defeated by others. We need to pay attention to our own development.

It sounds like you're siding with President Trump over the Chinese government.

Ren: President Trump is pushing us to change. Isn't that good?

Q22: At the moment, there seems to be a split between America and Australia and Japan which don't allow Huawei technology and most countries who still allow Huawei technology. Do you fear that, with 5G, technologies across the world might be split, bifurcated, and then there'll be two separate systems which might have trouble communicating and dealing with each other?

Ren: I think we have seen many twists and turns throughout human history. Look at the old rail system. We used to have wide tracks, standard tracks, and narrow tracks. That significantly added to the challenges and difficulties for world trade. But, even if trains moved slowly, the impact on world trade was not that significant. And historically, we also had different standards for communications equipment. Even up to 4G, we are still using three different types of standards. That adds to the costs of telecom operators and also consumers. That's why we're seeing a greater desire across the world to have unified standards. They bring down cost, speed up connectivity, and provide better services to people around the world. We already have unified standards for 5G. This is not something as simple as politicians drawing a line through the middle and saying we have two different versions. If that's the case, I think the end result would be much higher costs.

Our current unified 5G standards are the result of 10 years of hard work from hundreds of thousands of scientists and engineers around the world. Because of this, I don't think these standards will be reversed so easily.

Q23: You said earlier that you think the impact of 5G has been overblown. Given how much money and energy Huawei has invested in 5G, that seems a bit of a strange statement.

Ren: You know, we have too much money. If we don't invest in the future, we could only distribute it to our employees. Then they will become overweight. In that case, how can they move fast? So we choose to invest in the future. If we priced our equipment too low, that would destroy society. It would cause disasters to Western companies. If we price our products relatively high, we leave space for other companies to survive. Once we make high profits, maybe higher than what we need, we take some to support university professors and scientists in better exploring the future. As we work with universities, we adopt principles similar to how investment works according to the US's Bayh-Dole Act. That means we provide funds, but the research findings belong to the professors, not Huawei.

Q24: You mentioned you liked TikTok before. I was wondering how transformative you think artificial intelligence will be in the telecom industry and for society in general?

Ren: I think AI is going to play an extremely important role, not only in the telecom industry, but in society as a whole. Production will become highly intelligent, which could substantially increase productivity. For example, if tractors were powered by AI, they could work 24/7. AI can work even in harsh or tough environments.

AI will also greatly enrich the material and mental wealth of humanity. Therefore, I think all countries must take AI very seriously. Right now, the US is in the leading position in the AI domain.

A lot of people worry that, you know, AI will come along and take human jobs and therefore it will cause social and political unrest. Do you have any of those fears?

Ren: I think this is just the imagination of sociologists, politicians, or writers who don't know that much about AI. Scientists strive to use AI to improve productivity, optimize the way people work, and enrich the material and mental wealth of humanity.

I don't know whether you have toured our production lines. There are not many people working there, but I would say that they are only partially powered by AI. In the future, efficiency will be significantly higher. We would only need five or six people to run one production line.

Western countries face some social problems, including high salaries, high social welfare, and union strikes, which have caused some setbacks in the West in regard to industrialization over the past 20 to 30 years. Some industries have even been relocated to countries where workers are not so overprotected.

Future production models will require fewer people than we do today. I think the West will once again be able to fully utilize its strengths. If an AI-powered robot can do the work of 10 people, then the US will develop into an even greater industrial power, with a workforce equivalent to 3 billion people.

So how do you foresee the society of the future in 50 or 100 years' time, people will not be working in industrialized manufacturing anymore and it will just be AI? How do you foresee the future?

Ren: Some people will continue to work, and those people will be extremely highly paid. Other people can live happily without having to go to work. Therefore, if people want to work in the future, they have to study hard and keep pace with the times. I think that would be better for society.

Q25: Would we have to reform the tax system to provide those people that couldn't find work or didn't want to work?

Ren: Changing tax law is the job of the government. I don't know how. The Chinese government takes Huawei seriously because we pay nearly 20 billion US dollars in taxes around the world every year. Tax payment used to be in the charge of Meng Wanzhou. The US authorities might have thought that we wouldn't be able to pay our taxes without her. But that is not the case. We are a company that runs according to rules and processes. Even though she is not here, our company is still running quite well.

That's probably why you're allowed to say what you want and you don't get a phone call from Beijing?

Ren: Nothing I say is false! Why would they give me a phone call? Do you think anything I've said so far was not true?

Q: No, certainly not.

Q26: There was one Huawei employee arrested in Poland and charged with spying. I was just wondering what your response is to these allegations.

Ren: It is our corporate policy that all of our employees must not violate local laws and regulations. If they do, we will not go easy on them.

So, you admit that this employee was doing something untoward on behalf of another power?

Ren: We don't know what that person did. But we are supportive of what the government of Poland has done since it is their legitimate right.

We work to ensure compliance, both internally and externally. Internally, we have put effective oversight in place. We are also ready to be subject to external oversight.

We absolutely cannot allow our employees to do whatever they want. If we allowed that, Huawei would have fallen apart long ago.

 

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