A Coffee with Ren

June 17, 2019

Mr. Ren Zhengfei, Huawei Founder and CEO, sat down with two of the world's most prominent thinkers George Gilder and Nicholas Negroponte for 100 minutes of conversation and Q&A. George Gilder is a futurist, author and venture capitalist. Nicholas Negroponte is a tech visionary and the Co-founder of the MIT Media Lab. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Tian Wei, host of China Global Television Network's World Insight. Catherine Chen, Huawei's Senior Vice President and Member of the Board, is also in attendance.

A Coffee With Ren

Tian: Absorb the energy of the universe over a cup of coffee. I'm Tian Wei. They say a good conversation could be just like drinking a cup of black coffee and as stimulating as it is hard. I'm not sure whether today's conversation is going to be a really difficult one, but it should certainly be stimulating intellectually and thought-provoking. If you take a look at the panelists on the stage, they're trail blazers in their respective fields and certainly very outspoken about the challenges that we are facing today. I hope it's a conversation among minds without borders.

First up, A Coffee with Ren, so let's start with Ren. Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei. Of course, a legendary entrepreneur from China who has made China one of the world leaders of 5G. Huawei now, as far as I understand, is the world's largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment and the second largest maker of smartphones. So, Mr. Ren, welcome.

On his right, Nicholas Negroponte. The reason I introduce Mr. Negroponte second is because he has just accepted Mr. Ren as his student. Big news. A tech visionary and co-founder together with Jerome B. Wiesner of the MIT media lab. And he has been providing funding for start-up companies around the world, including WIRED magazine and Sohu. He has also decided to devote the remainder of his time, which is a lot, to opening science and global connectivity. Good to see you, Nicholas.

Next, we have George Gilder, certainly a fun individual, as well as a tech guru and a futurist, according to many. George is President Ronald Reagan's most quoted leading author and has been a venture capitalist in the US and Israel on many important projects. He enjoys his time as a runner and also as a skier. George, good to see you.

Last but certainly not least, we have a wonderful lady sitting on the stage as well. A long-time commitment to Huawei, 25 years working for this company, and a colleague of Mr. Ren, Ms. Catherine Chen, Senior Vice President and Director of the Board of Huawei, welcome.

Q1 Tian: Okay, A Coffee with Ren. I really need to start with Mr. Ren. Mr. Ren, is it because you cannot go to the US so you have all your friends coming to China for coffee?

Ren: Professor Negroponte was a teacher of Steve Jobs, and his son was once Jobs' roommate. That means that by becoming his student today, I am becoming one of Jobs' peers. I feel very honored. As for Mr. Gilder, he wrote the preface for Built on Value, a book by Professor Huang Weiwei. The preface is excellent, and I greatly admire him. I respect both of them very much. It's also fantastic that we have this opportunity to meet you, a very famous TV host, here today.

Q2 Tian: I want to turn the table to both of you here. Aren't you afraid of being politically incorrect, coming to China and sitting here in the sitting room of Huawei while knowing what's going on between the US and China?

George Gilder: No. No, I think that I am contributing to saving the United States from the terrible mistake that it's currently making, epitomized by the outrageous bans and tariffs, as well as restrictions it is placing on Huawei. But also, I can contribute to a re-construction of Internet architecture to address the terrible security collapse across the Internet that is making everybody paranoid and preventing everybody from trusting anybody else. This is really a technical problem that Huawei can address and not a political problem.

Tian: Are we facing a technical problem or a political problem?

Nicholas Negroponte: I have more of a feeling that we're facing a cultural problem. I'm here for a different reason, and I invited myself to come here and even told Mr. Ren what day I could come. And it was surprising that George, whom I have known for 40 years was here on the same day, so I'm very pleased.

We don't agree on political issues. Anyway, we agree on the fact that the United States is making a terrible mistake, first of all, picking on a company. I was on the Motorola Board of Directors for 15 years. One of the first joint ventures you did was probably with Motorola, I suspect. My interest is open information, open science. I come from a world where what we value isn't so much about trade, commerce, and stock values. We value knowledge, and we want to build on the people before, and the only way this works is if people are open at the beginning. Then we can all build on each other, and that's, to me, the priority.

There are other issues, and I'm not denying them, but that's the one I'm focusing on: How does the world collaborate? It's not a competitive world in the early stages of science; it benefits from collaboration.

Tian: Mr. Ren, some people say this is a technical issue, and some believe it is a cultural issue. What do you think? What kind of issues are we facing here?

Ren: I think the most important goal for our society is to create wealth, so that more people can be lifted out of poverty. Social progress requires collaboration for shared success. It's simply impossible for individual countries to develop on their own in the information world. In the industrial era, transportation problems led to geopolitics and geo-economics, so a country could manufacture sewing machines and tractors entirely on its own. But in the information era, it's impossible for a country to single-handedly make anything. That's why open collaboration worldwide is a must. Only through open collaboration can we meet people's demands, and bring the benefits of new technologies to more people at lower costs.

I believe collaboration is the only way to make social progress. Economic globalization was first proposed in the West. We believe it is a great concept. There definitely have been and will be ups and downs during the process of economic globalization, and we need to take the right approaches to these ups and downs. That means we need to use laws and rules to reconcile and resolve issues, instead of imposing extreme restrictions.

The progress of human civilization is built upon the discoveries and innovations of scientists, the leadership and facilitation of politicians, the products and markets of entrepreneurs, and the joint efforts of all people. That's how we create new wealth. During the Dark Ages, famine was prevalent in Europe. About 40 to 50 years ago, China was very poor, and people suffered from hunger. But now we have an abundance of food. Why is that? It's not because the natural environment has changed much since then. It is the result of advances in science and technology.

Q3 Tian: There are companies who are not providing Huawei with components and parts anymore, despite the fact that you had contracts with them. How will you treat the American companies who wish to keep supplying Huawei?

Ren: All of the US companies that we work with are great companies that hold themselves to high standards in terms of business integrity and ethics. Huawei's development over the past 30 years can be attributed in large part to the support and help we have received from leading companies around the world. The current setbacks we are facing are not caused by those American companies, but by politicians who see things differently from the way we see them.

We predicted long ago that we would encounter market competition issues and conflicts when our growth is fast. But we never imagined that the US government would be so committed to attacking Huawei within such a broad scope. The US government is banning US companies from supplying components to us. They are also restricting our participation in international organizations and our cooperation with universities. That said, these restrictions will not stop Huawei from forging ahead.

We didn't expect that the US government would launch such precise "strikes" against us, with each "strike" hitting our vital parts. Now we have several thousand "holes", and fixing them will take time. We didn't expect such extreme measures, but we did make some preparations. We are like a bullet-riddled Il-2 aircraft during World War II. We prepared to protect our core parts only, like our fuel tank. We didn't prepare to protect non-core parts. In the coming years, our production capacity may decrease, and our sales revenue will be about 30 billion US dollars lower than forecasted. In 2019 and 2020, our annual sales revenue will be about 100 billion US dollars. But maybe in 2021, we will regain our growth momentum and provide even better services to society. In the next two years, we are going to switch from many old product versions to new ones. In such a massive switchover, it will take time to test whether things work properly, so a moderate decline is understandable. But when this step is finished, we'll become stronger. 

When we were not as strong in the past, we were determined to work more closely with US companies. As we become stronger, we will work even more closely with them, and we won't be afraid of encountering more challenges like the ones we are facing now. We are not afraid of using US components or US elements, and we are not afraid of working with US partners.

Companies that are not as strong as Huawei might be very cautious when it comes to using US components or US elements. This will hurt the US economy in one way or another. But Huawei won't be hurt much. We are already strong, and we can withstand whatever is thrown at us.

Tian: Did Mr. Ren tell every Huawei employee about his plan regarding 2021, Madam Chen?

Catherine Chen: He talks about that sometimes, and the numbers may not necessarily be the same every time he speaks about it.

Q4 Tian: It seems that Mr. Ren gave us a lot of information earlier about the bottom line he is thinking about. What do you think George?

George Gilder: I think it's absolutely important that all these new ventures be founded on a level of a ground state of security on which these innovations can depend and which makes them trustworthy, recognizably trustworthy around the world. Because a worldwide network or a worldwide Internet of Things or a worldwide 3D virtual reality Internet, smart cities, or all of these various goals will depend on a secure ground state of timestamped factuality.

Tian: We understand that it's security, security, security. But how? That is the issue.

George Gilder: Blockchain, have you heard of it? It's an innovation and is what the new generation of technologists around the world are working on and developing, and I think it should be incorporated in the Huawei plan for the future.

Tian: What about standards? Since we talked about security and since we talked about some specific issues. Mr. Negroponte, what about the issues? From your perspective, starting from earlier days and thinking of what's going to happen today, what about standards? Do we have global standards? And how fast can we build the global standards? Do we want to build a global standard?

Nicholas Negroponte: First of all, I've been doing this for so long that when I was first on the Internet, I knew everybody else on it. That's how long ago it was. And nobody imagined how it would grow. And if they're telling you now, they're being revisionists. It was not in any way imagined to be this dominant. And I experienced over my life, first as a teenager, Sputnik. It's very interesting because Sputnik caused the United States to do things that it wasn't already doing. So this is your Sputnik moment.

What the United States has done created Huawei's Sputnik. You're going to wake up and do things and there is no going back. I saw it again in the 1980s, with Japan, terrified by Japan. There was a whole period when Japan was this enemy and we were not supposed to collaborate and yet that's sort of attenuated. Now, we're going through a Japan moment in China and I hope that it plays itself out. Standards are important, but not as important as they used to be, partly because you have enough intelligence in the system that you don't have to necessarily have a precise standard that everybody is following, as long as the system can recognize what it is, and says, oh, that's that signal, and adapts itself.

So there is a change, but it's important to collaborate on the basis of knowledge. Because if we start going in other directions separately, it's going to be an enormous shame, and we should shame in all senses of the word.

Q5 Tian: Talking about the basis of knowledge, I really need to ask Mr. Ren. Because right now, Huawei's collaboration with quite a number of American universities and labs has been halted, including some of those where you originally came from. And that is not going to contribute to the open science we are talking about. But to Mr. Ren, it's also going to have a big impact on where Huawei could be in terms of your capacity for science and technology. How would Huawei address the situation?

Ren: Inventions can be divided into theoretical inventions, engineering inventions, and inventions driven by market demand. China is very strong in engineering inventions, but weak when it comes to theoretical research. We have to diligently learn from the West in this regard. The West took several hundred years to invent theories like calculus. They have contributed greatly to advancing basic theories.

Huawei invests heavily in R&D. We have more than 80,000 engineers. Despite that, we have not made any great inventions. Mobile communications were not invented by Huawei, nor were fiber communications, IP transmission, mobile Internet, airplanes, cars, or horse-drawn carriages. When it comes to inventions, we have made little contributions to humanity. We have focused on improving engineering capabilities.

We are now supporting more than 300 universities and 900 research institutes around the world. In doing so, we hope that we can contribute to theoretical innovation. We will not cut our investment in this area just because of the attacks on us. We will work harder. Even if the US government does not allow some universities to work with us, there are many others who are willing to do so. It is understandable that a few universities are having concerns about working with us. It is just short-term because they don't know much about us.

We welcome more US politicians to come and visit Huawei themselves. Some of them may think we still live in grass huts and wear long queues – a hairstyle from dynastic China. If they come and look at Huawei's pace of innovation, they will believe that it is worthwhile to make friends with us and that we can be trusted.

Just now, Professor Gilder mentioned building trustworthy networks. Huawei is determined to do that. And it is also a decision included in our business plan. In the next five years, we will invest 100 billion US dollars in reshaping network architecture, so that networks can be simpler, faster, more secure, and more trustworthy. At the very least, we should be able to meet the standards of Europe's GDPR when it comes to privacy protection. Of course, our revenue will need to double. If we face financial difficulties, we may cut our R&D investment, but the amount will still be close to that figure. We need to restructure networks and make more contributions to humanity.

We also need to look at Huawei's contributions to society. Huawei employees are everywhere – in the poorest areas of Africa, in places stricken with malaria, Ebola,  or AIDS, and in the wilderness. We don't make much money there. We are there because of the commitment we have for humanity.

Since we have not contributed much to theories, we want to contribute more to serving humanity.

Q6 Tian: That's a great thing. And having a good market is a good thing, too, I guess. To you, Mr. Gilder, talking about security earlier, Mr. Ren has mentioned that. So there are lots of questions about whether Huawei has backdoors. Mr. Ren, please answer this question as well. Which security is it? Who will guarantee the security? Who are the ones to judge whether one system or another system has security or not?

George Gilder: The question is an objective question – whether a specific telecom system can be tested, whether it is open, whether it can afford to be using the new cryptographic techniques, cryptographic signing of software that can render it inherently trustworthy, because it cannot be changed gratuitously. There are lots of technical remedies for the kind of distrust that arises around this catastrophically insecure Internet architecture that we find ourselves using today. Just as we have catastrophically broken monetary system, which causes trade wars, we also have a catastrophically broken Internet security system. And I think among all companies in the world, Huawei is probably best situated to solve both these problems and to pursue both these opportunities.

Tian: Is Mr. Gilder having too much hope for Huawei and is he being too optimistic or pessimistic?

Nicholas Negroponte: Well, I hope he's correct. And there's some evidence that he may be, because our President has already said publicly that he would reconsider Huawei if we can make a trade deal. So, clearly, it's not about national security. We don't trade national security. It's about something else. And this trade war has got to end, and that, I believe, will end sooner rather than later. Crossing my fingers.

Q7 Tian: Mr. Ren, has Huawei installed backdoors into its equipment? Are there any security issues? Please tell our good friends, and the audience joining us online what Huawei's position is regarding this issue.

Ren: First, we need to separate the issues of cyber security and information security. Cyber security relates to the networks connecting our society. We can't ever allow these networks to break down or malfunction, and this is a security issue. These networks need to connect 6.5 billion people, tens of millions of banks, and hundreds of millions of SMEs and large companies. For a bank transaction to take place on a network that connects 6.5 billion people, the transaction must be able to accurately link the right individuals and transfer the correct amount. This is a cyber security responsibility. Huawei is responsible for providing connections to 3 billion people and providing connections for banks, businesses, and governments. Over the past 30 years, Huawei's networks, spread across 170 countries, have never broken down, proving that our networks are secure.

In terms of information security, we provide pipes and taps, which we refer to as networks and devices, respectively. The pipes don't determine what passes through them, which could be water or oil. Instead, carriers and content providers determine this.

In regard to whether Huawei installs backdoors, we don't have any backdoors at all. We are willing to sign no-backdoor and no-spy agreements with any country. Why haven't we signed any, you might ask? Because some countries have required that all network equipment suppliers would have to sign such an agreement. This raises the bar in these countries and makes things more difficult. Why not just sign an agreement with us first? Huawei can set an example, and then these countries can use this example to negotiate with other suppliers.

Tian: Which countries are you referring to?

Ren: I've discussed this topic with many state leaders. Once we get an agreement signed, we can set an example, and everyone will see that Huawei is bold enough to enter into such agreements. We can guarantee that we won't install backdoors, and we can then take on further responsibilities.

Whether something is secure or not is relative. The thickness of the atmosphere in the physical world is about 1,000 kilometers, but the information cloud will be much thicker than that. In a cloud that thick, errors are inevitable. For example, if a lightning strikes the wrong place, what can we do? We should investigate accountability, correct the mistake, and impose punishments. Attacking a company from all sides without fair reasons is unacceptable. Countries following the rule of law must act based on laws. How can they make judgments without even holding trials?

As the cloud society continues to develop and the number of portals increases, we will become more prone to making mistakes. If a society cannot tolerate even a single error, it is too conservative. Such a society will lose its drive for progress and creation.

Tian: Ms. Chen, I just asked Mr. Ren which countries he was talking about, but he didn't give a precise answer. I know he has been saying internally that he is a fan of the US. Does he still say that considering the current situation? Things have changed a lot.

Ren: The US is a developed country, but long ago, the US was an undiscovered continent. After the Puritans arrived, they started introducing British laws and regulations. The US gradually became more open and developed into the strongest nation in the world. We have a lot to learn from the US. A few setbacks won't make us suddenly hate the US. The US has a long history, and these recent events only make up a very small part of its history. If we started hating the US forever because of this, we would be pushing ourselves backwards. We must learn from the US. This is the only way that we can remain a leader in the industry.

Q8 Tian: Mr. Negroponte, what Mr. Ren just said is very interesting. He seems to want to look at history over a long period, rather than focusing on one specific point of time. So what exactly can we learn from history? I mean, you've already also talked about history, whether this is regarding Japan or Sputnik. What can we really learn? They say it's the rule of the jungle anyway.

Nicholas Negroponte: Well, we can learn by looking at various technologies that were invented in the United States and were then taken elsewhere. The US didn't have the industry, commercial skills, courage, or ability to develop them because it was too long term. I'll give you two examples. One example is flat panel displays. A piece of glass in my laboratory in the early 1970s is the beginning of flat panel displays. The United States couldn't bring it forward. It took too much investment, so it went to Japan and then later to other places. The same thing happened even before that with video tapes. There was a big commotion when video tapes were invented, but we didn't develop the technology. The same thing also happened with telecommunications. Government funding in my lab stopped 20 years ago and interest in the telecommunications development went elsewhere.

It's not the United States. Let's say it's Europe, it's Ericsson, and it's Nokia. It's not really the United States anymore. History has shown that the short-term, usually quarter to quarter, view of American industry precludes some of these big long-term developments. And Huawei looks beyond that and has been able to develop things in 5G and other areas. That couldn't happen with the way we're set up. It didn't lend itself to small entrepreneurship and it doesn't lend itself to big American corporations the way they're currently shaped.

Q9 Tian: Mr. Gilder, many say, wow, we're already at the very beginning of a technological cold war. We're going to have to decouple between China and the United States and between China and some of the other countries, technology-wise. Are you as easygoing about the reality as Mr. Ren, or as historical as Mr. Negroponte?

George Gilder: I think Mr. Ren is right to be confident. I mean, he's in a strong position. He has more than 87,000 patents. He has the 80,000 R&D employees. He's focused on the technologies of the future. It's the United States that really will suffer from any effort to decouple itself.

Tian: Are you bashing America right now?

George Gilder: I'm not. I'm an American and I believe we have wonderful entrepreneurial energy, wonderful creativity, and wonderful technology. But it's always thrived on collaboration with other countries. When we were an underdeveloped economy, Ford, Edison, Carnegie, all our great entrepreneurs that established the oil, automobile, and electrical industries, stole from Europe. Everybody said they stole from Europe, that they sent spies into European companies and brought back crucial insights that made Ford automobile possible. What we see here from historic terms is merely the incumbent established technology power of the United States being challenged by an ascendant challenger, China, and we are trying to beat them back. And that's a terrible, suicidal mistake for the United States to make.

So, I'm being pro-American when I say America has got to deal with Huawei and with the existence of challenges around the world. We are not in the lead in semiconductors anymore. This idea that we have some impregnable lead in semiconductors that we can use to negotiate and force China into compliance with some requirements that we imagined, is wrong. We don't lead in semiconductors. Taiwan leads us in semiconductors, and Apple's new CPU had to be made in Taiwan. 7nm geometries were not feasible at Intel anymore.

I mean, it's just false that the United States is in an impregnable position that it doesn't have to collaborate with China and other countries around the world. This is an illusion from years gone by and we've got to get over it if we're going to accept the challenges of the future and accomplish the goals we have set.

Ren: First, generally speaking, the US still has more advanced science and technology than China. After all, China is still catching up. China has made much progress over the past 40 years since the reform and opening-up, but the US has been developing for one or two hundred years. So the US has a more solid foundation for innovation. Suppose the world is a river, the US is a bit like water at the upper reaches, which will naturally flow downstream. If the water upstream does not flow down, the lower end of the river will dry up. However, the upper reaches will also dry up without lower reaches. This is similar to our value chain. Downstream market demand is critical for those in the upstream. Therefore, technological decoupling goes against the trends of historical development.

Second, the law of the jungle does not fit into human society. Humans need to collaborate for shared success and various forces need to be balanced. That's why we have adopted a market economy rather than a planned economy. Although the counterbalance between various factors in a market economy will cause some waste, it underpins orderly development of the market. In addition, human society is also governed by laws, regulations, religions, and moral codes. All those factors prevent the world from simply following the law of the jungle. Many countries have also issued anti-monopoly laws to prevent one lion from becoming too strong in order to maintain balanced development.

While Huawei happens to have some leading advantages in 5G, we will not be complacent. We still want to openly collaborate with the rest of the world. So I think technological decoupling between China and the US is in no one's interests. Both sides will suffer.

Tian: So there is a big jungle which has many players like rabbits and lions. Ms. Chen, it seems like Huawei has figured out a way to survive and thrive after this crisis.

Catherine Chen: I don't like people describing the world using the law of the jungle, either. Everyone knows that tigers and lions are the strongest animals and no one can defeat them. But how have humans achieved what we have today? It is through unity and collaboration. I think that's the law that always holds up well, rather than the law of the jungle. Many people wonder whether Huawei is facing unprecedented pressure and difficulties. Honestly, I don't think this is the biggest problem or challenge we've ever faced during my 25 years with the company. I think the most difficult time was when Mr. Ren founded the company. We didn't have money, technology, or people. I believe Mr. Guo Ping understands this even better as he joined Huawei earlier than me. We had nothing back then, but we managed to develop into what we are today. So I don't think the current challenges and pressures are that a big deal. Once a problem, issue, or challenge appears, Huawei always meets it head-on and works hard to resolve it. That's what we've been doing for the past three decades, and we will continue to do so in the future.

Q10 Tian: If it's not that challenging, as all of you illustrated, I feel happy as a journalist. But now, there's another thing. We cannot just concentrate our conversation on Huawei and the current specific challenges. But rather, we're going from here, every one of us. Mr. Ren has been very passionate about 5G. That's certainly going to help build the infrastructure in the world to empower communication and many other things. Mr. Gilder has been arguing over the years that artificial intelligence is not going to replace human beings, but human capacity and also the human brain are enormous. Meanwhile, Mr. Negroponte, you have been arguing in many of your speeches and books that biotech is the new digital, as you wrote in the book Being Digital back in 1995. You even argued that we can probably eventually eat a pill and learn Chinese, not only through the eyes but from within the body. So, what kind of future do you see?

George Gilder: You didn't really say that.

Nicholas Negroponte: Yes, I said it, but it doesn't mean it's true.

Tian: Let me ask one by one if we can and crossfire is also welcome here on the stage. About what we were talking about, where would you concentrate on a bigger trend? Let's start with someone many call a futurist. Mr. Gilder?

George Gilder: I believe the basic challenge of the world economy today is to address the scandal of money. We, today, see US$5.1 trillion every 24 hours in currency trading. But this currency trading accomplishes nothing. I believe that the real reason for the trade war is not trade or industrial machinations. It's the collapse of money. This currency trading doesn't even prevent constant hedging of every transaction across the border. It doesn't prevent trade conflicts. It doesn't really accomplish its goal. So I think the great contribution of blockchain is that it allows a new global currency that plays the role that gold played for hundreds of years of the fastest growth of the world economy. And that's really what blockchain provides: not only a new Internet architecture, but also a new global architecture for the world economy.

Tian: You don't think that's virtual wealth only? Like the stock brokers? 

George Gilder: It's [money is] not wealth itself. It's the measuring stick of wealth that guides entrepreneurial visions and creativity. You need to have a measuring stick, just as you need to measure the second, the meter, the kilogram, the amp, the mole, the degree Kelvin, all the various measuring sticks that make it possible to make a chip in Taiwan, and incorporate it into a smartphone in Shenzhen, and send it to Cupertino for marketing and to Israel for amplification. All that is made possible by common measuring sticks. The nanometer is the same in Shenzhen as it is in Timbuktu. 

But money, which is a critical measuring stick, is different all around the world. It's being manipulated by national central banks. So we have chaos of money. And that's why the world economy is slowing down now, why trade is no longer growing, and why countries are constantly fragmenting and fighting over valuations. I think this is a big opportunity. I think Huawei can play a key role in surmounting this challenge.

Tian: Mr. Negroponte, of course you disagree with your friend? 

Nicholas Negroponte: No, I don't disagree. I don't know enough about that. It's fascinating to listen to. I believe the question was what some of the big future trends are. I think they all surround one aspect of the scientific and technological world that has changed in the past 30 years. And that is, we can make things and design things and build things that are so small and get smaller and smaller. But there's been a crossover point with nature. When I grew up, the natural world and the artificial world were very different. In fact, I was trained as an architect. Good architecture is architecture that fits well with the natural world. But now, the natural world and the artificial world are the same. And they're the same in the ways that are very surprising. When I founded the media lab, I never imagined that we would have a team like we have today that designs mice. They design new mice! And are the mice real? Or are they artificial? They're manufactured, and they're walking, living mice.

And so there are certain things that you think about. For example, ten years from now, maybe Huawei will ship base stations as seeds that you plant and water. And they'll grow and guess what? They will grow into base stations that are powered by the sun and the leaves. And then all of a sudden you have base stations in the middle of nowhere! 10 years from now, that's perfectly plausible. So, I think the reason why I say biotech is the new digital is more because of synthetic biology and the fact that they're indistinguishable. 

Tian: The digital world is combining with the world of biotech.

Nicholas Negroponte: They're very much the same.

Q11 Tian: Growing from a seed is something we can discuss. Mr. Ren, what about your future? What do you think?

Ren: Professor Negroponte was talking about what fundamental changes the convergence between DNA and electronics will bring to humanity. I am not in a position to comment because I haven't done any research on that. But I think in the next 20 to 30 years, the biggest driving force for human society will be AI. AI is augmenting human capabilities, but not replacing them. Society is getting more and more complicated, trains are traveling faster and faster, and networks are also becoming more complicated. This is not something that can be handled with individual intelligence.

In the future, some tasks that are certain will be directly done by AI, and the problems will be solved on the edge. Tasks that deal with uncertainties will be first transmitted to the central networks, and then undergo fuzzy processing using AI. AI might get it wrong, or get it right. It's a process of deeper learning to promote human progress.

We should be tolerant towards innovation. If there is something wrong with networks, we can now maintain them remotely. Do we still need people to climb up towers to do maintenance? This will generate high costs. So we need to be tolerant of future-oriented innovation. This is the only way for us to build a great society. AI should not be seen as something negative. AI is an extension of human capability.

As Professor Negroponte just mentioned, the concept of AI has existed for decades, but it failed to become a reality. Today, we have what it takes to make AI a reality. AI will help create more wealth for humanity, rather than replace humans. How could AI appreciate music? How could AI understand jokes? These will be addressed in the near future. Now AI is mainly used to improve productivity.

Tian: So, the teacher and student. Mr. Gilder, it seems they are disagreeing to a certain extent with what you just said.

George Gilder: Well, I've been studying connectomes for a while, and for years, I specifically studied the connectome of the Internet. That is, how voluminous all connections are, all across the entire global Internet, and how they are connected to all its memories. And I was often focusing on the point where the connectome of the global Internet would pass a zettabyte. That is, when would all the memories and all the connections take a zettabyte, 10 to the 21st power, to map.

Recently, I've been studying the connectomes of the human brain. The connectome of one human brain takes an entire zettabyte. In other words, one human brain has as much connectivity as the entire global Internet. Yet the entire global Internet consumes gigawatts, terawatts of energy, while one human brain runs on 12 to 14 watts of energy. So, I believe what will really determine human progress and prosperity is unleashing the individual human zettabytes running on 12 watts. That's 6 billion you're interconnecting through the Huawei fiber optics and wireless, not creating some super mice out of a pill. Life is not the same at electronics. It manifests electronics but it's a different phenomenon which is not well understood and is not illuminated by facile statements that we're going to be able to read Shakespeare by taking a pill.

Tian: Mr. Negroponte, I think it's a perfect time for you to speak out. 

Nicholas Negroponte: Look, whatever is true, in computation and connectivity, I can make more of it. I can make more and more out of it. And some of that can happen naturally. So, a lot of people have worked on really two kinds of, or really two distinct AIs. There's the AI, if you will, that helps to do as well or even better than the human brain. That's the one called the classic AI, the one that the people of the 1960s and 1970s, very deep thinkers, were thinking about. It's not an AI composed of 7.5 billion people, I don't know what you're doing with other 1.5 billion when you're talking about connecting everybody, but when you have 7.5 billion brains connected, you have something times 7.5 billion. That's a different area and a fascinating one. And whatever happens computationally, I just know I can make more of it. I can't make more of the human brain and that's not going to change that much. So, things will change, George.

When I say you learn French by taking a pill or Chinese, that is part of a very different agenda of how you interact with the human brain. And the breakthrough was the idea of going from the inside instead of the outside. Instead of trying to radiate, what if you went through the bloodstream and what if you access the neurons from that direction? That's pretty interesting. I don't know where French lives. Does it live in a part of your brain? Probably not. But the process to speak French certainly does. Can you put that there? Can you take it away? It doesn't matter whether that is correct or not right now. It's certainly a very exciting way of thinking about it and people will do things and change things as a consequence of taking that kind of step. 

Q12 Tian: To take pills or not is not the question. The question is what we're going to see in the future. Let's talk about the future a little bit more. For example, lifelong learning, Mr. Ren, that's extremely important for everyone no matter what future we're talking about. So for all of you, how does that happen? What is the best tool for this? What is your method for achieving lifelong learning? I'm sure you have had to learn very fast, particularly recently.

Ren: No matter how fast you are, you cannot be as fast as machines. No matter how long you commit yourself to learning, your life is always limited. AI will be extremely capable of inheriting human civilization in the future. Scientists' ideas and the way they think can be passed on to future generations. For example, Einstein's thinking can still be useful after hundreds or thousands of years. In addition, with super-computing and massive storage, computers can comprehensively extract a number of excellent ways of thinking through machine learning. Calculations can then continuously be performed and be improved through algorithm models. Since AI cannot die in a traditional sense, it can accumulate intelligence over thousands of years, continuously building its strength. That's why I think AI will create enormous opportunities for humanity. What will the opportunities look like? I don't know. But I'm sure it will create great wealth and benefit society.

Today, it's hard to imagine what future society will look like. But I think lifelong learning is an incentive for individuals. Learning at a societal level, however, is a never-ending iteration. During the iteration process, revisions and new models will constantly be made through machine learning and algorithms. Someday, simple methods will be used to understand sophisticated problems. That is to say, although many people are currently needed to deal with sophisticated problems, in the future such problems may be resolved with just a few people. So the issue of lifelong learning should not be discussed at an individual level, but should be explored at a social level. Lifelong learning should be conducted across borders and disciplines.

People from our generation have this notion of geopolitics. That's because when we were young, we never traveled outside of our county, let alone our country. Only when we grew up did we leave our county. So we have this notion of being tied to one location. But because of the Internet, today, the younger generations are not tied to individual locations, and this way of thinking is dying out among them. They have looked at the world differently since they were very young.

I think future society will be even better. Some people are terrified by the possibility of AI replacing humanity, but this is just something imagined by sci-fi writers. After all, we have laws, religions, ethics, and other measures to counterbalance this. So this kind of phenomena will not happen or be very rare. We think wealth will only increase, rather than decrease.

Some say that Chinese people are getting richer and consuming more fish, which will cause a shortage of natural resources. But if you look at Google maps, you'll see that the coastal areas of China are full of net cages. That means most of the fish we consume is artificially bred. We aren't actually consuming that many natural resources, and this is a new wealth created by the release of productivity. Surely, I advocate a society of economy instead of luxury. As you know, Norway is a highly developed country. But what impresses me the most is that Norwegians live in small houses and drive small cars. Employees at our field office in Norway cannot afford to buy their own cars. So, when I go to Norway, I take a train to visit our field office. This shows that a wealthy country can also be economical. There is an abundance of wealth, but people can still live in a frugal way. In that way, we can avoid consuming too many resources. On the contrary, we will be more capable of creating resources. So I don't think a war is possible.

Tian: You not just mentioned lifelong learning and you also mentioned how society can continue to improve. Now I have a question for Ms. Chen.

Catherine Chen: Well, I think all three of you are expressing a very long-term view, looking out over the next 30 years and beyond. I will only talk about what I envision for the next three to five years. Technology will lead us to a better life. What I most expect is that Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson, Vodafone, and China Mobile will work together, and deploy 5G as soon as possible. The other day, my son went to the US to watch some NBA matches. He supports the Warriors and I support the Canada Raptors. So, when a 5G network is deployed, we can watch the basketball together, even if he is in the US and I'm in China.

Tian: It's an interesting world isn't it? It's a bigger world than many people imagined. Good job.

George Gilder: It's no bigger than Ren's universe in a cup of coffee. I think we get a sense of his visionary horizons when he discourses AI. I don't think any other corporate leader in the world could give such a sophisticated and wide ranging analysis of this absolutely central theme of technological development. And that's why the United States has to come to terms with Huawei. It's a resource for the world. It's not a trivial problem of backdoors and security patches.

Tian: You really sound like quite a fan of Huawei.

George Gilder: Yes. 

Tian: Mr. Negroponte?

Nicholas Negroponte: Well your description is certainly poetic among other things, which is very important. I would like to go back to your initial question about lifelong learning, and I would like to just remind people that learning is what you do for yourself and education is what people do for you. Let me just separate the two. And if you look at the best education in the world, it falls in two very distinct groups. There is the group, which is characterized by Finland, Sweden, and Norway, where students do very well, but there are no tests, shorter hours per day, shorter days per year, and no competition at all. So, the kids do very well. And then, there is the other method. Since I am in China, let me say the Chinese method. This is to drill, practice, and test, and you probably kill 50% of your children in the process of doing that. But the ones who survive come out strong. I think the second one is a very bad way to do it. I think the first one is the one that the world will slowly model itself. But it doesn't have much traction. As you connect kids and bring this connectivity to very remote places, thanks to Huawei, it's amazing what kids can do.

I'll bore you with one experiment we did. We went to two villages in Ethiopia that had no electricity. No adult had ever seen a word, a written word. Then we put in the village a number of tablets equal to the number of kids, with no human beings and no instructions. Then we left. But one exception is an adult went the day before and showed another adult how to put the solar panels outdoors instead of indoors. That was it. We could monitor this remotely. Within two hours, the kids found the on-off switch, which is pretty hard because they had never seen on-off switches in their lives. Within a week, they were singing ABC songs. Within two weeks, they were using 50 apps per day for seven hours per day. That's how long the battery lasted. Six months later, they hacked Android. And today they speak, read, and write fluent English. No pill and no teacher. And it's very important that you can do a great deal of something. I want to advocate that's the way to do with anybody. But it's amazing what kids can do, and we underestimate them all the time.

Q13 Tian: Finally, you agree with Professor Negroponte on something, Mr. Gilder. OK. But there's one thing I also want to ask you about. You've talked about the potential beauty of a world in which everyone can work together and overcome this current bump, but a lot of people that I have been talking to have real concerns about whether their children's generation is going to enjoy the kind of life you guys have been enjoying over the decades, which is that you see your life going up, getting better; life is getting better all the time. But maybe the next generation, some are concerned, is not going to be as beautiful as that. Mr. Negroponte, you've been working with kids a lot. $100 laptops for them to go into the digital world. What do you think? It's actually a question of optimism or a little bit of pessimism.

Nicholas Negroponte: Right. In full disclosure, I was born very lucky. My parents were rich, and their parents were rich. Everybody went to college; they went all over the world. I had been to 10 countries by the time I was six years old. I didn't think of that as a privilege. None of my brothers went into business. They all went into the civil service or academia, and a couple of them are artists. Our measure was not the same measure you're talking about. Very often, we take these measures simply as the measure of economic growth. But after that economic growth, you have a purpose, and you die unhappy if you didn't have a good purpose. You look back on your life and say, "What was that all about?" But some people don't have that question, because they have a purpose and they're bound to have it. But if you're struggling the whole time, it's harder. So, I think that when I hear that young people won't have the same opportunities, I say to myself, well, you know, I don't think that's necessarily true because they do have something we didn't have. It didn't matter if you were rich or poor; there was a belief that you had to work for a certain period of time; and probably hate your work, as a lawyer, as a banker, at a hedge fund. I mean, hedge funds – what an empty life that is! Then at the end, you start doing something with the rest of your life, and something happens. I think young people have learned about how to be more integrated. I see many, many young people who have mixed money and meaning. I think that's the key.

Tian: Mr. Ren, do you think that our future generations will feel that they are always growing and their lives are becoming better, just like what you have experienced in your life?

Ren: What is happiness? We must be clear about this. I think future generations will always be better than the previous ones. We shouldn't be always pessimistic about the kids of today. Maybe they haven't lived through the difficulties we lived through, but they are quick learners and they are quick to absorb new knowledge. Just as professor Negroponte said, if poor kids can also receive proper education, then mankind will be more able to generate more wealth and lift itself out of poverty, and the world will be a better place to live. So, I feel very positive about the future, and I believe the future generations will definitely be better than the previous ones. The current generations are definitely better than the generations 5,000 years ago, right? All of today's concerns will be resolved in 2,000 years.

George Gilder: It's a foolish indulgence of rich people to believe the future will be worse than the past. If you look at the history of China over the last 50 years, of course, every generation has had vastly more opportunities than the previous generation. All around the world, equality has increased because of poor people becoming rich everywhere. It's just in America with our climate cranks and weather bores, teeming with catastrophe theories, that we imagine the future will be worse. But if you live in the world and have some sense of history, you see opportunities opening as wide as Huawei's visions.

Tian: Now, let me open the floor. It seems I've been taking advantage of this conversation on the stage so much. But I know there are a lot of people who are smarter than me sitting in the audience and they have more fascinating questions than the ones I just asked. But no pressure, by the way. Let me turn to our audience, which I understand is made up of the media, people coming from think tanks, friends of Huawei and business partners of Huawei, and those interested in the latest developments of technology. If any of you have questions, raise your hand, and the staff will bring you the microphone. I will give equal opportunities, okay?

Q14: I have two questions, one is for Mr. Ren and one is for Professor Negroponte.

My first question is for Mr. Ren: I've been making videos that talk about Huawei a little bit and try to get the discussion to be more fair, especially with the American public. Will Huawei focus more on the relationship with the American people, or more on the relationship with the American government, or both or neither? And which is the most important?

The next question is for Mr. Negroponte: We know that America has an open capitalist system and we know China has a capitalist system governed by the government. But now, we are starting to see that America may be turning away technologies that are the best. So, what happens in a situation when the entity starts to shun or turn down the best technologies?

Ren: Well, we focus on communication with both the American people and the US government. No matter whether it is an individual or an organization that makes a wrong decision, it is only for a short period of time in the grand scheme of things. Generally speaking, most of the decisions the US made have been correct. During World War II, the US sacrificed a lot, and in the recent decades, they have contributed significantly to social development and globalization. Judging from this, the US government is great. And the American people are also great. They are diligent, they work hard, they study hard, and they have contributed a lot of advanced theories and accumulated impressive wealth. This has all been of great help to us. For the time being, I cannot go to the US, but that doesn't mean our future generations also cannot go to the US. Maybe China and the US will share 8G? Till then, it may not be 5G or 6G. It may be 8G, 9G, or 100G. I think eventually we will be able to serve the American people.

Nicholas Negroponte: This G stuff is a little overrated. I think the answer to your question is perhaps best because whatever is closing off now, we just have to stop that. 27% of MIT students come from Asia, and I don't know the exact number, but I'm willing to guess over 80% of them come from China. If you count the Chinese Americans who are born in the United States, both parents are Chinese, this number goes up to perhaps 25% or 30%.

So, we have enormous numbers. If you look at the media lab, 60% are foreign students. When I mention that, people often say, "Wait a minute, you're training our competition." No, we're elevating the whole world. It's so old fashioned to think if you have something, I don't. You're going to take my thing, and so you have it and I don't. Unfortunately, President Trump thinks that way. He doesn't think in a way that accepts that we can both have it and this can elevate us both. And training foreign students is so incredibly important.

I made a mistake 20 years ago. I thought the Internet would make people more integrated. I thought we would get rid of the importance of countries and would get rid of nationalism. And I look around now and it's gotten worse, not better. So I was wrong.

The only thing I can suggest now is intermarriage. Persuade your kids to marry somebody who is not Chinese and that will help going forward.

Tian: That's a social issue. We're going to discuss that a little bit later.

Q15: I have a question for Mr. Ren. You mentioned a decrease of 30 billion US dollars in comparison to Huawei's plan. What's your specific plan for the future? We have seen that Huawei's submarine cable business went up for sale. Will Huawei put more businesses up for sale in the future? In the next one or two years, what measures will you take to alleviate the pressure you're under?

Ren: There will not be more spin-offs or businesses for sale. The submarine cable business was actually quite successful. We didn't sell it because we were affected by the recent situation. In fact, we have been planning to sell it for a long time, because it is somewhat irrelevant to our strategic business. There will be no need for other spin-offs.

However, we might shrink our business and then relocate the employees who might be made redundant to our strategic business. This will help our strategic business to grow even better and faster. Huawei will not have massive layoffs, but we have been restructuring our business.

I'll give you an example. More than two years ago, we restructured our carrier software business, which had up to 20,000 employees. We spent nearly 10 billion US dollars in this business without producing anything compelling. Therefore, we decided to shut the business down. I went to HR and quietly asked them to increase these employees' salaries before relocating them. However, it turned out that they happily went to the frontline even before they got the raise. How have our consumer and cloud businesses grown so fast? I think a lot of credit should go to these people. They brought with them experience and achieved extraordinary things.

It's now been two years since the restructuring, and I recently checked up on the progress of these employees. It wasn't until then that I was told they had moved to strategic business departments before they received their raises. They chose to do something big in their new positions. I think their spirit deserves commendation. The department proposed that they roll out a red carpet for 10,000 employees. They told me the red carpet couldn't accommodate 10,000 people and adjusted the number to 3,000 instead, and I agreed. They made themselves medals and I delivered a speech. These medals were not fancy, but Eric Xu said they were valued a lot by the employees because my speech had given these medals meaning.

We cut such a large department two years ago, but that hasn't caused any fuss from inside or outside the company. Actually, we started restructuring long ago for many businesses.

Q16: I am a professor at Harbin Institute of Technology and I used to work at MIT. I have great concerns regarding the research efforts that Huawei proposes for the future, especially now in terms of the disputed moment that Professor Negroponte mentioned. How is Huawei going to address the issue of basic research, which you also mentioned is an important ingredient for the future creation of knowledge? Also, how will you deal with the issues with creativity that exist in China in order to support this basic research effort?

Ren: I think we'll always be willing to work with scientists and universities. We follow the US Bayh-Dole Act when working with universities, meaning that when we fund the research of professors or universities, we don't go after their achievements. Academic achievements belong to universities and their professors. We don't usually add our names to their papers. It's okay if certain universities don't work with us right now. There are still many other universities out there. 5G is very much overhyped around the world at the moment. Some people even think that 5G is like an atomic bomb. In fact, the key 5G technology was inspired by a mathematics paper published by a Turkish professor in 2007.

There are numerous universities around the world, so it is not a big issue if some choose not to work with us. I believe there will always be talented people that we can work with. We will not give up on what we're committed to because of short-term setbacks.

Q17: I would like to talk about China and innovation. How dependent is China's innovation system on it since integration into the global innovation networks that has developed over the last decades. Will China still be able to produce cutting-edge innovation, if transfer-border collaboration is substantially reduced?

Ren: Mass innovation seems to be booming in China, but I think most of the innovation activities focus on application, and are based on the outcomes of innovation on the global platform. Without the global platform, I believe China's innovation would experience a huge setback. China must invest more in research into basic theories and work harder to solve issues with basic education, and that will take time. So, back to your question, all levels of government in China should take it very seriously.

George Gilder: I just think that China is doing all sorts of innovation and basic research. You know, in collaboration with the professor in Austria Anton Zeilinger, professor Jian-wei Pan is a leading Chinese innovator in cryptographic researcher. The first use of quantum entanglement in transmitting certain messages absolutely securely across planetary distances over satellite technology. I mean, there's just all these areas where Chinese are performing both basic research and applied research in many different ways.

So, I think all these beliefs about failure of innovation in China are out of date. There are people talking about what it was like 20 years ago, and I just don't think that's the situation today in China.

Tian: Today we heard the great news coming from Professor Tu Youyou's team. There are new developments in her area because she's a Nobel Prize winner.

Q18: I have a question to Mr. Ren regarding IPR. We know many US media outlets are saying that Huawei stole a lot of trade secrets and intellectual properties from Western companies in its early years. What's your response to this? Right now, Huawei currently owns more than 80,000 patents. Are you going to use that as a weapon?

Ren: Huawei has been operating in accordance with all relevant ethical standards from its very beginning, even when we were still a small company. It would have been impossible for Huawei to become what it is today if we had not had strong business ethics. Even though several IPR lawsuits are currently going on between Huawei and US companies, we have faith in the fairness of the US legal system. Accusations regarding Huawei's theft of intellectual property are groundless.

We own a very large patent pool, but we will never use it as a weapon against anyone. However, intellectual property is created through hard work, so it is perfectly reasonable for Huawei and all other industry players to sign cross-licensing agreements and pay patent holders for the use of patents. Nevertheless, we would never use our patents as a weapon to hinder the development of society.

Q19 Tian: I'd like to collect all these questions and then let our panelists answer them together.

Q: I have a question for Mr. Ren. There's a report today that Huawei is expecting a 40 to 60% drop in the international cell phone sales. I just want to confirm whether that's true. And can you also clarify the status of the US suppliers? Are most US suppliers not supplying you at this point? Or are they continuing to because of the 90-day reprieve? What's the status?

Q: Question for the whole panel. I'll start with Mr. Ren. You talked about the Internet generation and how ideology has not been that wounded, and the future is going to be brighter, not darker. You also talked about using Google map to look out fish farms around the world. How interesting! I'm curious about your views on China's vast censorship apparatus which has blocked Google's searching map function in your country and other US companies and foreign tech. Can the future still be as bright as you envisioned when you have a whole generation that has been sort of walled off from that kind of information? And people are trying to point out that this walling off sort of inviting back retaliation, eventually. Just your thoughts on that. And for the rest of the panel, just related to this question, Mr. Gilder and Mr. Negroponte, you talked a lot advocating the US be more open to collaboration, should China also be more open to relax its censorship and moving away from what they call a "sovereign Internet" policy?

Q: Hello, I have a question for Mr. Ren. We know that Huawei is not just a Chinese company, but also a global company. You have established business and offices in over 170 countries around the world and the professor from MIT mentioned that many students that you recruit come from Asian countries. What's your plan to attract global talent?

Q: Previously you mentioned that open collaboration is very important. However, facing the global situation where industry cooperation is interrupted, is it possible for technology companies like Huawei to work with other international giants, as well science and technology forums and alliances and explore another development path to drive scientific advances?

Ren: For the first question, did Huawei's smartphone sales in the international market drop by 40%? Yes, it dropped by up to 40%, but it is quickly recovering. That rate has now dropped to 20%, so the situation is improving.

For the second question, Huawei advocates open collaboration, and that will never change. But the government-led cooperation you asked about is pretty much dependent on governmental dialogues.

Do we have another development path? Well that has never crossed my mind. We believe in only one path, and we will move forward along this path one step at a time. We won't give up even if we suffer setbacks, and will continue to forge ahead until we reach the top.

Another question is about how we can attract global talent. We have more than 40,000 local talent from over 170 countries. I don't know the specific numbers in specific countries, but we do have a rich pool of global talent.

George Gilder: I think there's been a lot of talk about the Internet of Things, but what's really critical now is to create an Internet of Facts, an Internet of Trust, and an Internet of Transactions. And My Life After Google is about how trust can be re-created by using new technical solutions such as blockchain, cryptography and other advances. Luckily, a whole new generation of technologists are now pioneering these fields. So, many of these political problems tend to dissolve when new technical solutions are presented. And I think Huawei can contribute vitally to the Internet of Trust, which, at the same time, will make it possible for Huawei to sell its products in the United States again.

Tian: Mr. Negroponte?

Nicholas Negroponte: Well, I would focus on the question about Internet censorship. Because there's something that happened in the past couple of years which has led up to the recent events, which frankly is an anti-Chinese sentiment that has been created in the United States. It's gotten worse and worse and worse. Part of the blame goes, I may say, to your current President who has disappointed us. We expected China to liberalize and continue, and we saw the path, but that changed suddenly. That is disappointing. We do have to get rid of tariffs and have to do all of the things that George and I would like to see happen. But China does have to change. You can't continue fencing off the Internet. I was at the hotel with my phone and many of my apps didn't work. I couldn't do things on Google and it was infuriating, truly infuriating. It was a reminder that I was here and it was a very sad reminder. So that has to be changed. But I'm still going to advocate for open research. It has to be open. And if it's not 100% symmetrical in the beginning, it will be.

Q20 Tian: You've been talking about open science and global connectivity. Everybody, use one sentence only to describe the biggest takeaway from the coffee with Ren today.

Catherine Chen: We mentioned that Huawei has no backdoors and our products are open, transparent, and trustworthy. But, but, but, this but is more important: But we'll always have our front doors open. We welcome all, including the media, to come and visit us.

George Gilder: I think Huawei is at the epicenter of future technology prospects for the world. How the United States and other countries react to this campaign against Huawei is a kind of Huawei test for people around the world. If they don't pass it, it will signify that the world is taking a very destructive turn. That's demonizing particular companies in the name of vague ideological objections. So, it's the Huawei test and I hope the world meets it.

Nicholas Negroponte: I guess I would end by saying, in going through that test, I would not focus on security and backdoors and whether you're going to interact with the Chinese government, etc. Leave that out. I think you should focus on the 100,000 papers you published, the amount of research, and just make it known. Because I was at a dinner party and I said "Huawei is a great company" and people say "It is? It does?" The world has to know how much you're doing in science and technology.

Ren: The world relies on open collaboration for shared success.

Tian: That's simple but not simple. Thank you so much. And with that, we're wrapping up our first coffee with Ren. We hope there will be many more coffees to come in the future, during which we can talk and interact and certainly be intellectually stimulating one another.

Thank you and goodbye.