For decades, Huawei’s founder stayed out of sight as it grew to become the biggest maker of network gear for phone carriers and passed Apple as the No. 2 smartphone brand.
Now, Ren Zhengfei is shedding that anonymity as China’s first global tech brand mobilizes to fight back against U.S. sanctions and warnings Huawei Technologies Ltd. is a security risk.
The entrepreneur at the center of the Trump administration’s battle with Beijing over technology is a survivor of competition that drove Western rivals out of the market, brushes with financial disaster and job stress so severe he contemplated suicide.
The 75-year-old former army engineer who worked his way out of childhood poverty sees American pressure as just the latest of the tests that have hardened him and his company.
“For three decades, Huawei has been suffering and no joy,” Ren said in an interview with The Associated Press. “The pain of each episode is different.”
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