Huawei saga: What we know and don't about the highly secretive firm, low-profile family

The daughter of Huawei's founder and its top executive was arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the United States, stirring up fears of reigniting US-China trade war.
The son of schoolteachers in rural Guizhou, Mr Ren Zhengfei founded Huawei in 1987, after the People's Liberation Army disbanded its engineering corps. It was not until 2003 that the company started making mobile phones for the consumer electronics m
The son of schoolteachers in rural Guizhou, Mr Ren Zhengfei founded Huawei in 1987, after the People's Liberation Army disbanded its engineering corps. It was not until 2003 that the company started making mobile phones for the consumer electronics market. PHOTO: EPA/EFE

In three decades, former People's Liberation Army (PLA) engineer Ren Zhengfei built one of China's biggest corporate empires, a multinational telecoms and consumer electronics giant that has become one of the nation's greatest success stories.

This year, it overtook Apple as the world's second-largest manufacturer of smartphones, trailing behind Samsung by 5 percentage points in market share. It is also the world's No. 1 in supplying telecommunications networking equipment, surpassing Ericsson in 2012.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 09, 2018, with the headline 'What we know and don't'. Print Edition | Subscribe