The saga between the United States and Huawei is well documented, and hopes that a change in administration would result in a removal from the entity list for the Chinese firm is yet to materialise. Since it was imposed, the US sanctions have seen Huawei lose access to Google mobile services, along with impacting its 5G plans over security concerns.
As such, this latest report involving Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei is no surprise, with an internal memo discovered by Reuters, claiming that he has urged the company to shift its focus to software.
This as it is an industry that the United States government does not control.
The aforementioned internal memo explains that a shift to software would place Huawei, “outside of U.S. control and we will have greater independence and autonomy”.
If the memo is indeed the genuine article, the move makes a lot of sense, especially as Huawei has pushed forward with HMS and the AppGallery as a replacement for Google and the Play Store. There are still plenty of kinks to iron out regarding the former, but the moves the company has made in such a short space of time is commendable.
We have also seen a greater desire to be involved in the smart devices ecosystem with HarmonyOS, an IoT-focused operating system that will be made more widely available next month.
The words of Zhengfei echo those made by other Huawei executives during a recent analysts conference, where greater investment in software development was cited as the reason why Huawei chose to split its newly created Cloud and AI division.
It therefore looks like the longer play with software is to build dominance in its native China, before reaching other regions of the globe and potentially shutting out the US from its own ecosystem should the sanctions continue.
“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 added.
Whether other regions like Europe will be willing to embrace Huawei software given recent concerns over 5G hardware remains to be seen, but if this reported re-focus does happen, we could start seeing fewer Huawei smartphones being announced.
Either way, the consumer facing side of the company looks due for a shake up.