Huawei Technologies Co., the Chinese behemoth in the world of electronics, was barred from using American imports after being initiated into the Entity List in May this year. Following this, Google and ARM cut off ties with Huawei, essentially depriving the company of two quintessential elements of its smartphones - the app store and the processor. While Donald Trump, President of the United States, did soften the tone on Huawei two months later in July whereby allowing it to purchase 'widely available' products from the country, the ban has not been completely lifted.
In retaliation to the entire saga, the founder of Huawei Technologies Co., Ren Zhengfei, intends on a crucial three-to-five years-long major overhaul of the company to survive the massive blow (via Bloomberg). He wrote in an internal memo seen by Bloomberg and verified by a Huawei spokesperson:
We have to complete an overhaul in harsh and difficult conditions, creating an invincible iron army that can help us achieve victory. We absolutely have to complete this re-organization within three to five years.
Ren did not provide the exact details of this overhaul but hinted that organizations that were "redundant and unnecessary" will be dropped in this restructuring.
This is not the first step in Huawei's defense against the onslaught it has faced from the United States. Almost immediately after being stripped of Android, Huawei worked on introducing its alternative operating system to Android, Harmony OS, which was announced on Friday.
Many have cited Huawei's unprecedented headway into 5G technology as the reason for its inclusion into the Entity List given 5G's massive potential to be a key component of the global power dynamics in the years to come. Ren himself acknowledges his company's foothold in the emerging technology by asserting in the same letter:
The U.S. doesn’t use the most advanced 5G technology. That may leave it lagging behind in the artificial intelligence sector.
While the phrase 'invincible iron army', owing to the lack of specificity, seems ambiguous, it highlights Huawei's mindset following the definitive events in the past months. However, the efficacy of these steps remains to be examined in the months or - perhaps even years - to come.