Seven years ago, in a villa facing a lake in Shenzhen, a small group of Huawei Technologies executives headed by founder Ren Zhengfei held a closed-door assembly that lasted for several days.
Their mission was to manipulate concepts round how Huawei ought to reply to the rising success of Google’s Android operating system (OS) around the globe – a software program that is used by the handsets. The underlying matter was that dependence on Android might render the corporate weak to a US ban sooner or later.
The group agreed that Huawei ought to construct a proprietary OS as a possible various to Android, in accordance with individuals aware of the matter, who declined to be recognized as a result of the data is non-public.
This assembly was later known as the “lakeside talks” internally, and entry to documents referring to the gathering turned extremely restricted last year, the sources mentioned.
Following the talks and course from senior administration, a specialist OS crew led by executives together with Eric Xu Zhijun, presently one of many three rotating chairpersons for Huawei, was established and started to work on an OS beneath circumstances of tight secrecy.
A specialized zone was created inside Huawei to accommodate the OS workforce, with guards on the door. Solely staff on the OS staff had entry to the specialist space, which was accessed with registered employees playing cards. Private cell phones weren’t allowed and needed to be saved in an out of doors locker.
The OS mission turned a vital a part of Huawei 2012 Laboratories, which features because of the innovation, analysis, and technology growth arm of the corporate. The lab, which incorporates Huawei students and researchers, goals to drive reducing-edge innovation and sucks in billions of yuan of investments yearly with no instant contribution to company income.
Occasions have modified, although, since 2012, when a small group of worldwide manufacturers dominated the smartphone market and Huawei had lower than a 5% share of the global market. It’s now the world’s second-greatest smartphone provider and shipped a total of 206 million smartphones in 2018, in response to IDC knowledge, with practically half of that quantity going to abroad markets.