Billionaire Ren Zhengfei’s Daughter Takes Over Huawei Rotating Chairman Role


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Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, will take up the role of rotating chairman of the telecom company starting from April 1 in a management reshuffle that offers a glimpse of its succession plans as it continues to battle for survival.

Meng, 51, will lead the Shenzhen-based company for six months until September 30, according to reports from state-affiliated media. The telecom giant has a rotating chairman arrangement that will see Meng share the post with executives Hu Houkun and Xu Zhijun—each leading the company for a half-year period.

A Huawei spokesperson declined to comment. The official promotion of Meng, which was first announced last year, marks the first time the female executive will lead the company. She was previously Huawei’s chief financial officer, and spent almost three years in home detention in Canada fighting extradition to the U.S. She had been charged with bank fraud in the U.S. for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to violate U.S. sanction laws.

Meng denied the charges, but admitted to some wrongdoing in exchange for prosecutors later dropping the charges. As she was departing Canada in 2021, China released two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, who had been detained in a tit-for-tat move by Beijing.

Meng is now set to face a new wave of challenges, as the sanctions-hit Huawei remains a likely target of the Biden administration’s attempt to undercut China’s ambition in developing dual-use technologies that threaten Western interests.

U.S. officials have reportedly stopped granting almost all licenses for American companies to sell to Huawei, threatening to cut off the Chinese tech giant from the entire U.S.-based supply chain.

Under the previous arrangement, the Commerce Department had allowed certain products to be sold to Huawei, provided that they didn’t jeopardize U.S. national security. The Chinese company was first put on the Entity List in 2019 for national security risks, barring it from acquiring advanced U.S. chips.

The impact of the ban could be revealed on Friday, when Huawei is poised to announce its annual results for 2022. The company is privately held, but regularly publishes its financial results.

Huawei has said it expected 2022’s sales to be flattish, and struck a relatively upbeat tone when rotating Chairman Eric Xu Zhijun announced in late 2021 that “U.S. restrictions are now our new normal, and we’re back to business as usual.”

But billionaire Ren warned a couple months before that Huawei should focus on survival and cut back on unprofitable business lines amid a global recession. He is known to have two other children, with son Ren Ping reportedly working at a Huawei unit and daughter Annabel Yao pursuing a career in entertainment after graduating from Harvard.

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Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lamber is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes about arts, entertainment, lifestyle, and home news. Nicole has been a journalist for years and loves to write about what's going on in the world.

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