Light Reading
Huawei's devices business is growing fast and making an impact, but founder Ren Zhengfei has voiced concerns about complacency.

Huawei Boss Tells Handset Team to Sober Up

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
4/23/2014
50%
50%

Huawei's ambitious devices team finished 2013 on a high, boosting sales nearly 18% and bustling into third place in the global smartphone rankings. (See Asia Strengthens Its Grip on Smartphone Market.)

But Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei let the air out of their tires when he paid a rare visit to the device division's offices last month to accuse them of complacency.

In a recent speech widely reported in the Chinese media, the reclusive chief warned the group not to turn into a "bubble" after scoring some business success.

He pointed out that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) returned a full-year profit of $50 billion and Samsung Corp. $40 billion. "If you can give me $30 billion then I will recognize you as no. 3," he said bluntly. "Now you are earning several hundred million dollars and starting to get hot… that's complacency."

He appealed to the group to "not let the Internet give them a fever" from the publicity around their success. "Don't just blindly follow Apple or Samsung or Xiaomi [Chinese device vendor]. Don't take the easy road."

Acting CEO Eric Xu confirmed the reports at the company's annual global analysts' briefing in Shenzhen Wednesday.

"We have concerns that the consumer business group may not be as down to earth as they used to be, simply because of the success they achieved last year. Therefore we cooled them down in advance so that they can become sober, and so they can fully understand where they are."

Shao Yang, director of marketing for the consumer group, said Ren was saying "don't just get big, get strong."

Notwithstanding the rebuke, Huawei's consumer business unit has made some impressive progress in the three years since its creation. It now accounts for nearly a quarter of Huawei's total revenue, and already this year it has shipped 4 million units of its flagship Ascend P6 device. Awareness of the Huawei brand rose last year from 32% to 68% in China and 9% to 22% in the US. (See Huawei Pumps Up Its Profits to $3.5B and Huawei's Handsets Man Has Been Here Before.)

Xu said the company did not believe there were problems with its devices and that there would be no major changes to that group's strategy going forward.

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/24/2014 | 10:10:13 AM
Re: if not humbled, humiliated soon
There are lots of ways to make sure your organization doesn't sit on its laurels. Humiliation and threats are two of them, but they are not two of the better ones. Also, being humble in a hypercompetitive environment is a good way to have your metaphorical lunch eaten by competitors.
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/24/2014 | 9:46:53 AM
if not humbled, humiliated soon
In today's hyper competitive environment if you are not humble, you'll soon be humiliated. I am glad that HUAWEI's CEO is not letting the division sit on its laurels.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/24/2014 | 8:44:00 AM
Re: Good job
Given his general lack of visibility, odds are very good that this was an intentional dressing down.
MarkC73
50%
50%
MarkC73,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/23/2014 | 11:23:33 PM
Re: Good job
Interesting that he did it in a way that it would be leaked publicly as well, or was that the point?
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/23/2014 | 8:30:51 PM
Re: Good job
@mendyk You said it! Bosses pride themselves on such kicks, it seems.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/23/2014 | 5:30:37 PM
Good job
It's always nice when success is rewarded with a kick in the whatevers.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed