I am an Apple Fan: Huawei CEO

“We often find ourselves pondering the secret behind the unparalleled quality of Apple’s products. The disparity between our offerings and those of Apple is clear. I am genuinely delighted to have Apple as a mentor, affording us the invaluable opportunity to learn and compare. In this regard, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to label me an Apple enthusiast,”  Ren Zhengfei, CEO, Huawei


In the fiercely competitive landscape of the tech industry, where giants battle for supremacy in the lucrative smartphone market, an unexpected revelation has emerged. Ren Zhengfei, the visionary founder and CEO of Huawei, a major Chinese tech company, publicly professed his profound admiration for Apple, a quintessential American rival.

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The Unlikely Admiration

This surprising admiration unfolded during a discussion centered on the International Collegiate Programming Contest, an event proudly sponsored by Huawei. Ren Zhengfei expressed genuine reverence for the excellence synonymous with Apple products, prompting a deeper examination of this unexpected sentiment.

“We often find ourselves pondering the secret behind the unparalleled quality of Apple’s products. The disparity between our offerings and those of Apple is clear. I am genuinely delighted to have Apple as a mentor, affording us the invaluable opportunity to learn and compare. In this regard, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to label me an Apple enthusiast,” 

Ren Zhengfei, CEO, Huawei

At the core of Ren Zhengfei’s admiration for Apple lies an enduring commitment to learning from the best, even if they are competitors with Huawei. This mindset embodies the idea that “iron sharpens iron,” underlining the philosophy of continuous improvement. Zhengfei’s acknowledgment of Apple as a “teacher” underscores the value of healthy competition as a catalyst for progress and innovation.

A Lesson in Resilience

Ren Zhengfei’s surprising admiration for Apple comes at a time of fierce competition in the world’s largest smartphone market with Huawei. Huawei, a major player, is in direct competition with Apple’s formidable lineup with its latest cutting-edge 5G models.

A pivotal moment to revisit is the challenging year of 2019 for Huawei when it faced a substantial setback due to a U.S. ban. This punitive measure severely impacted Huawei by cutting off access to crucial components and Google’s services and applications, significantly dimming its presence in Western markets.

However, Huawei has remarkably resurged from these challenges, resembling a phoenix rising from the ashes. The revival was spearheaded by the eagerly awaited launch of the Mate 60, a premium smartphone equipped with the impressive HiSilicon Brin 9000S processor—a chip completely developed in-house by Huawei. Interestingly, this strategy aligns with Apple’s playbook, as the Cupertino-based giant has long relied on its own processors to power its iconic devices.

Ren Zhengfei’s unexpected show of admiration for Apple underscores a profound truth about the global tech industry. Despite the cutthroat competition, there is room for valuable lessons and mutual respect to flourish. The founder of Huawei not only advocates for an open-minded approach towards foreign brands but also emphasizes the crucial importance of learning from one’s competitors.

In this evolving narrative, we further explore Ren Zhengfei’s admiration for Apple, examining its implications and the broader lessons it imparts to the tech industry.

Embracing a Globalized Tech Ecosystem

Ren Zhengfei’s recent declaration of admiration for Apple has resonated across the tech industry, surprising many industry observers. In a highly competitive landscape, it’s uncommon for the CEO of a major tech corporation to openly praise a competitor in such a candid manner.

The setting of this revelation, the International Collegiate Programming Contest, sponsored by Huawei, was unexpected. This event highlights Huawei’s dedication to nurturing talent and promoting innovation within the tech sphere. During discussions at this event, Ren Zhengfei shared his insights into what sets Apple’s products apart.

Read more: 7 ways Huawei is Impacting US-China Tech war?

Drawing Lessons from a Competitor

Ren Zhengfei’s deep admiration for Apple is rooted in a steadfast commitment to learning from the best, even when they are seen as rivals. This mindset mirrors the age-old saying, “iron sharpens iron.” His acknowledgment of Apple as a “teacher” speaks volumes about his belief in continuous improvement.

While it might seem unconventional for a CEO to openly laud a competitor, it underscores a fundamental truth about tech industry innovation. Innovation thrives in an environment where ideas are freely exchanged and competitors challenge each other to push the limits of what’s achievable. In this light, Zhengfei’s words serve as a reminder that healthy competition can indeed fuel progress.

Another crucial lesson from this unexpected admiration is the need to guard against xenophobia in the tech industry. In a time of geopolitical tensions, it’s essential to embrace diverse perspectives for thriving innovation. Zhengfei’s stance against rising nationalism and protectionism reinforces the idea that innovation is a global endeavor transcending borders, benefiting from cross-cultural exchange.

Implications for the Tech Industry

Ren Zhengfei’s expressed admiration for Apple holds significant implications for the global tech industry. Firstly, it indicates that Huawei is likely to maintain a strong focus on innovation and quality to effectively compete with Apple. This is encouraging for consumers, as it implies a drive towards delivering superior products and services.

Secondly, this admiration underscores the increasing interconnectedness of the global tech industry, even amid the US-China trade tensions. Companies from different nations are progressively engaging in both collaboration and competition, fostering an environment conducive to heightened innovation and overall progress.

Lastly, the acknowledgment of Apple’s strengths emphasizes the universal importance of learning from competitors. It underscores the idea that even the most successful companies can benefit by gleaning insights and expertise from their rivals—a valuable lesson that all businesses should consider and incorporate into their strategies.


Ren Zhengfei’s unexpected admiration for Apple sparks an essential conversation within the tech industry. It reminds us that amidst fierce competition, there’s room for mutual respect and learning. It underscores the importance of resilience in the face of adversity and highlights the interconnectedness of the global tech ecosystem. Ultimately, embracing diverse perspectives and learning from competitors can drive progress and innovation in this dynamic and competitive industry.

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