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Reclusive 'Mr Ren' materialises to bless Huawei Leica tie-up

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Carlton Barr
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China s shopping spree of premium Western brands continues and not just footballers.

Unusually the Lab agreement was signed by Mr Ren himself, as Huawei s 71-year-old founder Ren Zhengfei is known.

In 2011, The Economist called Zhenfei the most reclusive boss in the technology industry, and he only gave his first interview in 2013.

Many important functions are performed by his three rotating CEOs , each of whom takes turns to run the 160,000-plus company.

Leica s brand gives Huawei the credibility and brand recognition it needs to compete with Samsung, the only remaining Android phone maker which is actually making any money.

Huawei s need for such an initiative indicates that isn t merely content with competing on price: it wants at least some of the fat margins that Samsung s smartphone division enjoyed for a few years, too.

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Carlton Barr
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