Translation of Huawei CEO’s Parting Words to Honor, 2020.11.25
Disclaimer: I am an amateur, and do not guarantee the full accuracy of this translation. All copyright belongs to Ren Zhengfei.
We are about to be parted. We have been together for more than ten years, and in my heart I feel both excitement and unwillingness to part. We are in great times, but we are also in the hardest times. We used to be a blade of grass. Two years of raging storms have not defeated us, and the obstacles that we have conquered may, in a few years, turn us into a little tree of iron. The iron tree will eventually flower. You are leaving now, and we do not have much of a parting gift, other than a ground full of yellow leaves blown to the ground by the autumn winds bringing the cold.
One, why must we split with Honor
Under waves and waves of harsh sanctions the US placed on Huawei, we finally understand, some politicians in America were not trying to correct our course, but trying to kill us. This period of short-term difficulties for Huawei, we can overcome. But we cannot drag innocent people down with us. If our partners and retailers in 170 different countries suffer with us, millions of people will lose their jobs. Our suppliers will accumulate inventory because we cannot buy their products, their sales will decrease, and drag down the stock market. They did nothing wrong. We have the ability to make some sacrifices, make you suffer with them and keep their sources of income flowing. But you are not the saviors of the world, and you need to have a proper, religiously devoted attitude toward our customers, loyally protect the interests of our customers, and sincerely keep our promises to our suppliers. The spirit of the contract is your is your key to success. Honor is in manufacturing, low and mid level products, after the split Honor will quickly resume manufacturing and solve the issues of finding partnerships, under the leadership of of Zhixin Company.
We have been together more than ten years. Our recent strict management, will turn you from naive young intellectuals to "warriors" who can fight. In the past, we may have been cold to you, I apologize. Today, we say goodbye, there is still some unwillingness. Just as the autumn wind starts up, and the ground is full of yellow leaves, departure is a colder wind. We cannot shield you from the wind and the rain anymore. Please have a safe journey and take care of yourselves.
Two, how to do this properly
First, you need to resume the source of water (metaphor for supply). If there is no source of water, the grass will dry, and then it will be hard to revive it. Water, water, water, why China’s Dai minority chants this, is because the source of water will save lives.
Use your full ability to embrace the globalization of production resources, quickly form relationships with suppliers. Supply is a very complex and multi-faceted issue. The difficulty for you will be more than for any new company in China. How to overcome this difficulty, is the problem facing you heroes.
Make sure to keep learning from those who are ahead of you, including those you don't like. Unwaveringly embrace globalization, better relationships with companies from the UK, US, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Korea. The US is one of the major powers in technology, many of its companies are very excellent, you need to firmly and bravely cooperate with them, an at the same time, promote cooperation with domestic partners, and grow with them.
You need to keep the good traditions that have already been formed. Managers and professionals need to be globalized, professional, and multi-faceted. Other than finding local employees, you need to be careful with the distribution of power so that you can manage people around the globe at the same time, rather than have everyone doing their own thing, and thus have difficulties with executing commands. A good mechanism for exclusion is a proper supplement for encouraging an entire team to continue to improve. You must respect people but also consider science, and be guided by the results of responsibilities. If one leaves the team to do their own thing, one must be careful and firm, and cannot make concessions.
Stay firm in the direction and goals you work toward, make sure you do what needs to be done and do not do what needs to not be done. Be firm and unwavering in innovation and do not allow for the entropy of the team to increase (become more disordered).
Three, become Huawei's biggest competitor, surpass Huawei, even chant "defeat Huawei" to encourage yourselves.
Continue to improve yourselves and fight to continue in the generally correct direction. Make sure organizations are full of life, employees have strong will and desire to succeed. Be firm in opposing corruption on the inside. Oppose all embezzlement and theft.
Continue in beneficial habits and policies, manage your team properly with scientific methods, and continue on calm and collected. There will be setbacks. Do not panic. Use the power of collective minds, be bold, but don't be a dictator. Work together to move forward.
Today is our divorce ceremony. I won’t say more. After the divorce let’s have a clean break, we are adults, let’s handle this break-up rationally. Let’s strictly abide by proper management and international rules and each achieve our own goals. We can’t be like young people in love and marriage, sometimes hot sometimes cold, unable to draw clear boundaries. And don’t feel bad for Huawei, think of your own future! In the future we will be competitors, you can come at us with foreign guns and cannons, and we will use our domestic blades and spears. Who knows who will win or lose? We won’t go easy on you, if your people chant "defeat Huawei" in competition, they are heroes. Don’t give them trouble.
It was difficult to meet and also difficult to part. The autumn wind brings cold and yellow leaves. Have a safe journey.