Leaked Huawei memo reveals plan for global software domination

Chinese tech vendor Huawei has been forced out of much of its hardware business by unilateral US restrictions, so it plans to return the favour in software.

We know this because Reuters reported on a recent internal memo sent by Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei, covering the strategic pivot to software. While the cunning plan itself is no secret, this memo sheds more light on the internal culture driving it and expected long-term consequences of the strategy.

“Once we dominate Europe, the Asia Pacific and Africa, if U.S. standards don’t match ours, and we can’t enter the U.S., then the U.S. can’t enter our territory,” the memo reportedly said. Them’s fightin’ words, as they might say in the US. Huawei is not merely seeking to focus on markets the US will be less able to ban it from, it wants to ban the US right back.

There are so many presumptions built into that statement it would be easy to dismiss it as the ravings of a megalomaniac if it didn’t coincide so closely with the broader Chinese ‘belt and road’ strategy. There are, of course, many parts of Europe and the Asia Pacific region that aren’t too keen on being dominated by China or its companies, and even Africa is looking a bit shaky these days.

Reuters claims an exclusive but we’ve seen a version of the memo too, in which the above quote was significantly toned-down. The reason for that, presumably, is that the official Huawei party line is that its hand has been forced by US sanctions (which is true) and that any consequent ‘decoupling’ (i.e. Balkanization) of the global technology industry is the fault of the US.

The rest of what we’ve seen goes heavy on colourful similes and metaphors that may lose something in translation. So Huawei intends to “extend our roots deep into the soil and break limits high in the sky,” the latter part of which seems to refer to all this exciting domination and reciprocal banning. There’s also a laboured rail metaphor that seems intended to clarify the correct approach to software investment and development.

It’s hard not to feel sympathy for Huawei, given how the US has set out to destroy it, nor is it difficult to imagine feeling similarly vengeful if put in the same position. But what does Huawei hope to achieve by leaking stuff like this to the international media? Surely it will merely stiffen the resolve of those countries already ill-disposed towards Huawei and likely offend others it appears to take for granted. By all means issue a rallying cry to your own employees, Ren, but maybe keep it to yourself from now on.


  1. Avatar happiman 25/05/2021 @ 5:07 pm

    I truly believe that China will dominate the world since they have the best programmers.
    State sponsored hacking group can look up and steal any information.

    In October 2020, Google’s Threat Analysis Group reported that Chinese state-sponsored hacking group APT31 impersonated the antivirus company McAfee to conduct targeted attacks on the Biden campaign’s email system. Targets were prompted to install a legitimate version of McAfee Total Protection antivirus software from GitHub, while the malware was simultaneously installed to the system. McAfee Total Protection is one of the antivirus packages purchased by Unit 61419 a year prior.

    In 2021, Microsoft announced that a Chinese state-sponsored hacking group, HAFNIUM, used four zero-day exploits to gain access to and install web shells on Microsoft Exchange servers, compromising Outlook Web Access (OWA) in as many as 60,000 organizations worldwide.

    • Avatar Nobby6 26/05/2021 @ 1:31 am

      It doesnt take a genius to use script-kiddie tools, the CCP employed scriddies are probably using leaked NSA tools, only difference is NSA scriddies are not as nefarious as CCP scriddies .

      and if what Happiman thinks is even half true, the CCP will have to release them to work in private world, because huawei does not have a good reputation for secure code on its network gear, so why would we trust any software from them based on past evidence?

      and no Im not talking about the anti China USA evidence, I’m talking about huawei’s own bulletins, its going t take a long time before that trust is regained, but, I dont see this being an overnight change in the company, its probably a 5 to 10 years plan.

  2. Avatar Carlos 25/05/2021 @ 6:04 pm

    Ive really developed a bad taste for this Hw company… Ive worked so many years as a consultant.
    and when they got the possibility they took personal as 3rd party employees and is crap…
    very vertical company working like ants to deliver …
    zero focus on knowledge or whatever the likes…

  3. Avatar Cletus the Clown 26/05/2021 @ 10:40 am

    It’s a bit sad to read this. I’ve worked with a lot of Chinese staff in Huawei and as a participant in OpenRAN, and find them excellent to work with – sharp, focused and unfailingly polite, pretty easy to deal with and they get the job done.
    Having dealt with some of the higher ranks in Huawei however it does seem that once there is any sort of political exposure that the attitudes of the staff change dramatically. Even going back a few years when I was dealing with the higher ranks (pre Xi Jinping) there was never this sort of hype, hey, maybe it was there and they just kept a lid on it, who knows.
    But as the author of this article states there’s not much good that can come of this, not for Huawei, or us. And the management down there know that, they’ve discussed it privately, but when it comes to what they say publically, there’s one song sheet and they all have to sing from it – but it doesn’t mean they either believe it or think its going to do them well long term.

    • Avatar happiman 27/05/2021 @ 5:37 am

      Average German Nazi supports were nice guys, good father at home, talented singers or piano players. But they cooperated the evil party w/o any hesitance.
      China is the 21st Asian Nazi county. We know that CCP lies, steals and abuses innocent people.

      “Uyghur women who conceive more than three children are forcefully sterilized. Women survivors from these camps narrated that they were beaten, raped, and given mystery injections.”

      • Avatar Cletus the Clown 27/05/2021 @ 8:23 am

        Not arguing with anything you just said, in fact I agree with it. The CCP and the Chinese people are two very different things, and need to be treated as such.
        As I hinted to in my post, the rank and file more or less stay in line and stay the hell away from politics. The higher management who now have direct exposure to the edicts of the party are forced to toe the line.
        In the case of Mr Ren, he has to come up with bile like what you see above, I dont think he believes a word of it either. Huawei are not just on the defensive, they are being decimated in the very markets he says they will dominate in. It wont turn around. Hell, Huawei lost 25 5G contracts alone in Europe (where they were the incumbent 4G vendor), the CAI is all but cancelled, despite Merkel and von der Leyen’s (and Xi’s) best efforts, and its going south quickly. Chinese diplomacy looks more like a wrecking ball than a genuine attempt at engagement.
        My point above is that I feel sorry for the normal Chinese who have to put up with this. They are aware of the problem (the few I know who will voice any sort of opinion), they think its embarrassing, and think that the administration is pushing China down a very dark road and very fast.

        • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 27/05/2021 @ 9:39 am

          Thanks Cletus, it’s very important to make a clear distinction between a body of people and their political representatives, especially if the former has no control over who the latter are.

  4. Avatar Cheap-spaghetti 26/05/2021 @ 4:25 pm

    Chinese wet Dreams !

    The Chinese don’t have the talent to develop anything original, unique or high quality,
    that’s why they resort to stealing IP / Cloning and making cheap crapware.

    The US and the West will ban and destroy any PRO CCP Technology
    ( Chinese communist Party tech) that comes along in the future.

    And the Chinese companies will never succeed globally under CCP.

    Unless…China one day will become a democracy like Taiwan !
    Untill then, no matter what tech they cook or steal, good or bad, is still ENEMY TECH
    and will be destroyed like Huawei! And they’ll be forced to sell pigs to survive…

    Google: “Huawei turns to pig farming as smartphone sales fall” LOL

  5. Avatar José Luis Suarez 29/05/2021 @ 5:03 pm

    I have no concerns with fair competition, but banning Huawei under false accusations is no better than the CCP that you denigrate so much.

  6. Avatar Nigeria 29/05/2021 @ 7:11 pm

    USA are hypocrite leave China and come to Africa to put things in order ,stop claim human right violation on China,, while deploying mercenaries in Africa.fuck USA nd uk

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