Huawei founder reportedly puts staff on crisis mode

Image of the Huawei Mate X2 foldable smartphone
(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has reportedly told its workforce to prioritise profitability rather than sales as it anticipates expect short term difficulties caused by a global recession.

In a leaked internal memo, Ren told staff to focus on revenue generation that would ensure the company’s survival over the next three years.

“No more stories, we have to talk about the realities,” Ren is quoted as saying.

China smartphone sales

The Chinese mobile giant has endured a challenging few years thanks to US sanctions that have limited its access to American technologies and pressure from Washington that led to its exclusion from the rollout of 5G in key markets – including the UK.

These developments have stifled its smartphone ambitions and its telecoms division, with the company doubling down on IT infrastructure and diversifying into emerging markets such as connected vehicles.

However, these ventures have so far failed to compensate for the decline of its core businesses, with the company reported declining revenues and even shrinking headcounts. Indeed, the memo suggested Huawei could scale back its interest in experimental business lines as it goes into survival mode.

It’s a far cry from when Huawei was briefly the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer in early 2020. However the impact of US sanctions, especially a lack of access to Google’s Android operating system, began to take hold and Huawei also sold its Honor subsidiary. But that’s not to say it has given up on smartphones entirely.

It has continued with the development of its HarmonyOS operating system and plans to launch a new ‘Mate’ smartphone next month, while it has also launched a steady stream of wearables and accessories over the past few years.


Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.