Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei reportedly posted an emotionally-charged farewell speech for departing Honor employees on Thursday.
According to Reuters, Zhengfei addressed the sub-brand on the company’s employee forum and blamed its recent sale on the spate of US sanctions. His comments line up with Huawei’s recent statement where it said that it’s under “tremendous pressure” from the US government.
“Wave after wave of severe US sanctions against Huawei has led us to finally understand, certain American politicians want to kill us, not just correct us,” Zhengfei said in his speech.
While Huawei could deal with the difficulties, it didn’t want to risk the livelihood of “millions” of Honor employees, Zhengfei’s message said. “We don’t have to drag innocent people into the water just because we suffer,” he added.
Citing industry sources, Reuters reports that Huawei’s rivals have been ramping up production in anticipation of its declining market share.
Huawei’s cut in the global smartphone market is expected to fall to 4% in 2021, according to one market research firm, with brands like Xiaomi and Oppo predicted to pick up the slack. With Honor also out of the picture, Huawei’s shipments are believed to dwindle further.
In his speech, Zhengfei encouraged the outgoing sub-brand to become Huawei’s competitor after the “divorce.” Surpassing Huawei should “become your slogan for motivation,” he told Honor’s workforce.
The future of Huawei smartphones hangs in the balance right now as the US is undergoing a change in administration.
The Trump administration was particularly harsh on Huawei and deemed the company a threat to national security. We might see some easing up of sanctions under the Biden administration, but it’s hard to tell how the politics of it all will play out.