A recent conversation between Ren and Yoshida Kenichiro, Sony CEO, revealed a great deal of his personality and history. Ren lost his army job when the construction division was reduced, with little money or prospects. He was 44 and had a family. Going into communications was an accident, he says. A few years later, he saw construction was booming and regretted not becoming a contractor.

There were many hard times, not least when the Internet bubble collapsed in 2001. He had to deal with challenges far more extreme than the battle with America. He set up the employee stock plan when Huawei didn’t have the cash to pay employees.

Kenichiro described his philosophy: First, we need to have a sense of crisis. Second, we need to maintain a modest attitude. Third, we must have a long-term vision.

Ren said his thought is “Basically similar. But I think the first point should be to have a sense of direction, including the sense of direction of customer demand and the sense of direction of future technological innovation.”

He also explained the main reason he didn’t do interviews was that he is shy.