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Huawei wishlist: Global talent, 6G, set own standards

Huawei is seeking to lure foreign tech talent to China to lead in 6G and to dominate global standards. Those are some of the points made by Huawei Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei in a recent internal meeting.

Speaking to researchers at the Huawei Central Research Institute, Ren said that despite US restrictions over the past two years it was still "business as usual" inside Huawei.

Let it go: Contrary to appearances, Huawei's Ren Zhengfei has told staff that despite US sanctions, it's apparently business as usual for the vendor.   (Source: World Economic Forum on Flickr CC2.0)
Let it go: Contrary to appearances, Huawei's Ren Zhengfei has told staff that despite US sanctions, it's apparently business as usual for the vendor.
(Source: World Economic Forum on Flickr CC2.0)

"There has been no chaos within the company. Instead, the company is now more united than ever, and has even attracted more talent," he said. As a result of US sanctions, Huawei no longer sought to use the best components to make the best products.

Instead, it is using "appropriate components" to make high-quality products, which had had a positive impact on profitability, Ren said. But he told staff that the vendor needed to "boldly attract the best people from around the world."

Time for a pay rise

This meant it would have to change its compensation structure. "To attract top-notch talent from the US, we should follow US compensation standards," he said. "Our compensation packages must align with international talent markets, higher than those offered by local talent markets."

A new 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) research campus in Qingpu, Shanghai, was being developed as a place "where non-Chinese scientists feel comfortable to live and work," Ren said. The 1.6 million square meter campus, due to complete in 2023, will host at least 30,000 research staff, primarily to develop handset and IoT chips.

Six reasons why

Ren said Huawei would seek to lead in both 5G and 6G. He said the company’s R&D system, combining both basic research and product development, would enable Huawei to "lead the world" in 5G and other domains.

To prepare for 6G, Huawei should develop industry 5G and AI, with a special focus verticals such as ports, airports, data center energy and coal mines. He said 6G might deliver detection and sensing capabilities. "This might be a new direction of development for radio waves. Future growth for 6G might not be limited to high-bandwidth communications," he said.


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For the Shenzhen-based company, the development of 6G technology was "preparation against a rainy day," he said. "We aim to seize the ground of 6G patents," he said. "We must not wait until 6G becomes viable, as waiting would impose constraints on us due to a lack of patents."

In the past, Huawei had embraced standards because it lagged the rest of the world and did not have a large customer base. When it came to 6G and other new technologies, Huawei hoped to set the pace with its own standards.

"When we aim to 'pierce the sky' and take the lead in the world, we must not be restricted by standards and must dare to blaze our own trails, establish de facto standards, and attract others to connect with us."

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— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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