hopes to be forgotten after retiring from the company. “My biggest wish is to drink coffee in a cafe unnoticed,” said the 75 year old. But standing between Ren and those anonymous visits to coffee shops is probably the biggest decision of his career.
In May, the Trump Administration announced a new direct product rule (DPR) that effectively blocks Huawei's access to advanced semiconductors – the brains inside all of its products. While Huawei was able to survive Washington’s first attempt to deny it access to US core tech in May last year, this time it has no wriggle room left.
Huawei’s short term strategy has been to take advantage of a two month grace period to stockpile chips from its key silicon supplier TSMC. After September, TSMC and other companies that use US chipmaking equipment (including China’s SMIC) will need a waiver from Washington to supply Huawei.