Huawei grappling with 'live or die moment,' founder says

Huawei grappling with 'live or die moment,' founder says
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The founder of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei said Tuesday that his company is in a "live or die moment" amid threats of penalties from the U.S.

In a memo obtained by Reuters, Ren Zhengfei told staff to work aggressively toward sales targets as the firm goes into “battle mode” ahead of the U.S. adding Huawei to the “entity list,” which is seen as a death sentence for included groups as U.S. companies are banned from doing business with them.

“The company is facing a live-or-die moment,” Ren, a former Chinese army officer, said in the memo that was verified by Huawei.

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“If you cannot do the job, then make way for our tank to roll; And if you want to come on the battlefield, you can tie a rope around the ‘tank’ to pull it along, everyone needs this sort of determination!”

The U.S. on Monday granted Huawei a second 90-day “temporary general license," allowing the Chinese firm to continue doing business with American companies.

“Some of the rural companies are dependent on Huawei," Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Group sues Trump administration for info related to 'attempts to politicize NOAA' NOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet MORE explained in an appearance on the Fox Business Network.

"So we’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off. But there are no specific licenses being granted for anything.”

The Trump administration first proposed adding Huawei, the world's second largest smartphone producer, to the entity list earlier this year, citing national security concerns because of the firm's close connections to the Chinese government.

Ren in June predicted that the blacklisting would cost Huawei $30 billion in sales over the next two years.

In an interview Tuesday, the company's founder told The Associated Press that he believes the blacklisting is still likely despite the second delay. Deviating from his previous position, Ren added that being blacklisted would not hurt Huawei.

“Whether the ‘entity list’ is extended or not, that will not have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business,” Ren told the outlet. “We can do well without relying on American companies.”