BEIJING, China – Ren Zhengfei (Huawei’s founder and chairman) joined the Peoples’ Liberation Army in the 1960’s & stayed in the PLA for 20 years then later on joined the Communist Party of China.
In 1987, Ren founded Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd with 21,000 yuan, around US$5,000 at the time. Initially Huawei is a contractor for selling and installing and maintenance for server switch, etc. equipment for a Hong Kong dealer to China.
In 1992, Ren pushed Huawei to develop C&C8 server switch, which sold at 1/3 price at that time and made the first successful boost of Huawei.
Due to the Ren’s background, Huawei were rewarded with Chinese government contracts in data center building, and telecommunications construction in 4G network. Huawei is also active in building telecommunications for African countries as a Chinese diplomatic relations building in 1990’s.
Ren now serves as a deputy chairman of the Board of Directors, but he is not among the current three rotating CEOs. The company had annual revenue of US$92.5 billion in 2017. Ren holds 1.42% of the shares of Huawei, valued at US$450 million in 2010. Huawei is essentially independent of Ren because its shares are held by its employees, but the ownership structure remains opaque
Ren’s deep ties with the Chinese military and Communist Party have been cited by the Indian government as a security concern in not allowing Huawei to win certain contracts in India. These fears are shared by other countries. In the United States it led to the collapse of Huawei’s efforts to buy 3Com and forced SoftBank to greatly sever ties with Huawei in order to have its takeover of Sprint Nextel acquire US national-security clearance, while in the United Kingdom the Intelligence and Security Committee has recommended the removal of Huawei’s equipment due to spying fears.