“Tough” Yu Chengdong, will become the best candidate to succeed Ren Zhengfei?

Yu Chengdong, who is good at chewing on “hard bones”, is also a “hard bone” himself.

Whenever he encounters a difficult market or problem, it seems that the first thing Ren Zhengfei thinks of is Yu Chengdong. Fortunately, Yu Chengdong, who is good at chewing “hard bones”, is also a “hard bone” himself. So, will “hard-boned” Yu Chengdong eventually become the best candidate to succeed Ren Zhengfei? 

Huawei ‘s achievements today are closely related to its corporate culture. Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei, said in the early years, “Resources will be exhausted, and only culture will continue to grow.”

Huawei’s corporate culture of “customer-centric, struggling-oriented, and long-term persistent hard work” has a low-key and introverted external performance. As Ren Zhengfei has always emphasized: quiet water undercurrents, calm leadership, gray and low-key, practical work, not publicity, not excited.

Ren Zhengfei also set an example. He never took first class, he did not have a special car driver, and he did not accept any honorary commendations. Before 2019, he hardly accepted media interviews. Other Huawei executives, such as Sun Yafang, Xu Zhijun, and Guo Ping, are also mostly like this. They rarely show up outside, but focus on Huawei’s business.

But among the senior executives of Huawei, there is an exception, he is Yu Chengdong. In recent years, at Huawei’s mobile phone conferences, people can always see him speaking in “earth-flavored English” with a heavy accent, and introducing Huawei’s mobile phones to the “foreigners” in the audience very confidently.

Moreover, Yu Chengdong dared to “bragger” and likes to use some exaggerated language, such as “very scary technology”, ” photographing a street”… so he also got a nickname on the Internet: Yu Dazui.

But it is this big mouth that has led Huawei’s consumer business to the forefront of the world. If it were not for political interference, the market share of Huawei’s mobile phones would most likely be the world’s first.

As a different kind of Huawei executives, Ren Zhengfei admires Yu Chengdong and has a headache, but he still has to open the Internet: Yu Chengdong is capable but too crazy. We need to be a little bit gray in managing him.

In May of this year, “heterogeneous” Yu Chengdong held another important position. In the position of CEO of Huawei Cloud, he was changed to CEO of Smart Car Solutions BU, while the original position of CEO of Consumer BG remained unchanged.

Huawei delivered its most concerned smart car business to Yu Chengdong, and also threw the hardest piece of “hard bone” to him.

What kind of person can let Ren Zhengfei deliver all of Huawei’s most important business to him, and what ability does he have to make Ren Zhengfei, who is rigorous, treat him specially?

What kind of person Yu Chengdong is, we might as well observe from his career all the way.

1  Where there is a pain point, there is a solution 

In 1969, Yu Chengdong was born in an ordinary rural family in Huoqiu County, Lu’an, Anhui. What’s interesting is that Lei Jun and Chen Mingyong were born at the same time this year, these three are now the most important people in domestic mobile phones.

Yu Chengdong has been fierce since he was a child, and the little ruffian bullied him. His backhand was a brick, smashing the opponent’s head, and no one dared to provoke him ever since.

With this fierce strength, he has to fight for the first place in everything, and his academic performance is also good. In 1987, he graduated from high school and passed the automatic control department of Northwestern Polytechnical University as the county’s number one in science.

Later, he was admitted to Tsinghua University as a postgraduate, and when he graduated, he gave up his career as a civil servant and came to Huawei as a technical engineer.

As soon as he arrived at Huawei, he participated in the famous C&C08 digital program-controlled switch research and development project. This is a product that can be recorded in Huawei’s history. Its appearance has completely changed the situation that the Chinese switch market is monopolized by foreign brands. It is also in terms of technology and talent reserves. Lay a solid foundation for Huawei’s follow-up development.

At the beginning of the business, everyone was a generalist. Huawei did not have a decent sales team at that time. R&D staff turned around and became salesmen, selling Huawei’s new equipment all over the world. Yu Chengdong, like every Huawei entrepreneur, rushes wherever the company points.

"Tough" Yu Chengdong, will become the best candidate to succeed Ren Zhengfei?

Huawei subsequently succeeded in gaining a foothold in the market with the strategy of “encircling the city from the countryside”. However, Yu Chengdong, who has been regarded as a “heritor”, took the initiative to take over an “unpleasant” business and volunteered to preside over the development of 3G business.

Ren Zhengfei, who is suffering from not having his own technology patent, was very happy. Not only did he agree to Yu Chengdong’s proposal, he also gave him a lot of help.

Starting from scratch, Yu Chengdong did not live up to Ren Zhengfei’s high hopes. After several years of struggle, he and his team launched Huawei’s main GSM product in 1997, which completely rewritten the history of Huawei in this field and zero.

What’s more worth mentioning is that Huawei has also become a maker and participant of 3G international standards, owning 5% of the intellectual property rights. This also gives Huawei the strength to enter the international market.

In 2003, the hard-working Yu Chengdong was sent overseas by Ren Zhengfei before he could catch his breath to open up the market non-stop. In the eyes of Ren Zhengfei, this capable young man needs more training.

At that time, 3G base stations in the world were generally very heavy and bulky, so large that ordinary elevators could not fit in them, and even heavy cranes were required to complete the installation. This design not only increases the cost, but also makes many foreign companies that are willing to upgrade their equipment hesitate.

After Yu Chengdong realized this problem, he immediately requested the development of a split base station. However, Ren Zhengfei is a bit big head. After all, the company has just started, and it has been exhausting to get a 3G base station.

In addition, it is necessary to develop a split base station according to Yu Chengdong’s intention. In case of failure, Huawei cannot afford the consequences. Many people in Huawei also disagree with this project life and death, saying that the base station standards are the same internationally, and everyone uses them well. Why doesn’t it work when you get to Yu Chengdong?

Yu Chengdong was anxious and directly cursed, “TMD, it must be done, not doing it will always be better than Ericsson.” He even slapped the table in front of Ren Zhengfei.

Fortunately, Ren Zhengfei believed in Yu Chengdong’s vision and finally approved the research and development of the split base station. He could only pray silently that Yu Chengdong could create another miracle.

Half a year later, Yu Chengdong really designed a main body for indoors, most of the modules are placed in outdoor base stations, and the signal is stronger.

In 2006, Vodafone adopted Huawei’s distributed base station to defeat Telefonica, the leading local operator in Spain. This battle has made Huawei become famous in Europe, and distributed base stations have successively won large orders.

2  Horizon determines realm, positioning determines status 

In the eyes of many people, Huawei wants to fight Ericsson, a century-old store, no matter the technology or management level, it is undoubtedly an idiot. If you don’t want to surpass Ericsson, it will be difficult for Huawei to make a big difference in the European market.

Yu Chengdong is born with the evil spirit of “barefoot is not afraid of wearing shoes”, and you must do everything you look for. In order to defeat Ericsson, Yu Chengdong is holding the information and pondering over and over again every day. He always feels that technology is not absolute, only better.

That time, Ericsson’s communications base stations in GSM, UMT, SLT plate are independent flapper architecture, it is these components are assembled together that led to the bulky base station. Although Huawei’s distributed base station partially solved the problem, Yu Chengdong also wanted a base station with fewer boards, smaller size, and simpler maintenance.

But many people are happy after hearing about it, and want to challenge Ericsson’s technology. Is Yu Chengdong a bit too crazy?

Still the same as before, there are many opponents, only Ren Zhengfei chooses to believe in Yu Chengdong again, he knows that this guy is different from others, he does not believe in evil and is not afraid of authority.

"Tough" Yu Chengdong, will become the best candidate to succeed Ren Zhengfei?

In 2008, Yu Chengdong developed a fourth-generation wireless base stations will be available shook the whole of through news industry: flapper base station, Ericsson need 12, Huawei as long as three. This technological leap has completely changed Huawei’s passive situation in the wireless communications market.

In the face of praise from all parties, Yu Chengdong was very proud, not “humbly” at all, saying that he had always strived for first place since he was a child, and there is no word “second” in his dictionary.

Seeing this “Huawei fanatic”, Ren Zhengfei was secretly delighted and directly promoted him to the position of president of Europe. At that time, Huawei served some countries in Europe, but it has always been worried about the major telecom markets such as Britain, France and Germany.

In order to enter the main battlefield in Europe, Yu Chengdong proposed the famous “pressure principle”, which is simply “chewing the hardest bones”. This principle was later written into the basic management law of Huawei.

He led the team Sike Europe-wide Zhou most valuable and most promising 15 key operators. In fact, this is also a strategy of “catch the thieves first”. To win these big operators is equivalent to winning half of the European market.

He lobbied tirelessly and visited day and night. Three years later, 15 major operators were negotiated by Yu Chengdong about 12, which basically cleared the barriers for Huawei to enter the European market.

In 2012, Huawei’s market share in the entire European wireless communications market soared from 9% to 33%, ranking firmly in the forefront of the European market. At the same time, Huawei’s 4G technology has also been recognized internationally and has become a member of the LTE standard organization family.

The technological leadership and unique market enable Huawei’s sales in Europe to quickly surpass its former rival Ericsson.

Objectively speaking, the crossing of any technological gap is by no means that simple. It requires strength, but also the courage of fearless authority and a sense of responsibility willing to take risks.

Yu Chengdong’s “do it if you don’t accept it” drive, it took him 15 years to grow from an ordinary technician to a regional president on his own, and he achieved his own career.

But before Yu Chengdong had enough European coffee, he was recalled to the headquarters by Ren Zhengfei to take on a seemingly impossible task.

3  It’s difficult to be a world-class terminal brand. I insist on showing it to you. 

In 2010, the 41-year-old Yu Chengdong returned to Huawei’s headquarters to take charge of Huawei’s terminal company and consumer business.

At that time, Huawei was faced with the rapid popularization of high-end smartphones and the complicated situation in which sales moved from offline to online. No one knew what Huawei’s consumer business should do next.

Because the output value is not high, and there are no major products, the consumer business is in the embarrassing situation of “uncle doesn’t hurt, grandma doesn’t love” in the entire business unit. After thinking about it, Ren Zhengfei could only throw this “hot potato” to Yu Chengdong, hoping that this guy who can fight a tough battle can turn the tide.

Although Yu Chengdong, who was once again in danger, accepted the task, he never expected the fierce competition in the mobile phone market.

At this time, the “big guy” in the Chinese mobile phone market is the operator, and only rely on the operator to have food. Domestic mobile phone manufacturers are either reduced to foundries or can only produce a large number of OEMs with meager profits. Huawei is the same.

After Yu Chengdong took office, he cut off a large number of extremely low-profit OEMs and low-end feature phones with the spirit of “breaking his wrists.”

The OEM and low-end computers that he cut down were more than 30 million units at the time, and their revenue fell instantly, and countless people’s “cheese” were knocked to the ground. Several new mobile phones that he led research and development have sold half-deadly, and the company has criticized him constantly.

“Let the old leave the lesson” has almost become a consistent view within Huawei. Everyone thinks that Yu Chengdong is “superfluous” and “in the way.” Moreover, every one of his decisions has been repeatedly delayed by various departments, and no one regards him as a “hero” in opening up European channels.

However, Yu Chengdong, who has never failed, has excellent qualities in his heart. He doesn’t care if people are convinced. Anyway, what he has to do must be done well, unless the boss removes him!

How could Ren Zhengfei be willing to withdraw Yu Chengdong? He knew too well the temper and character of this “love general”. The sentence “If you don’t support Yu Chengdong’s work, you don’t support me”, it suppressed the grievances of countless people.

After Yu Chengdong received the “Shangfang Sword”, he “intensified his efforts” and replaced a large number of people who were difficult to command on Huawei terminals and mobile phones. As a result, he made countless enemies again. Everyone waited with sullen faces to see his joke. In their opinion: Lao Yu wants to make a mobile phone? joke! Don’t look at what’s going on in the mobile phone market now! There are Lei Jun’s Xiaomi , Luo Yonghao’s hammer , ZTE, Coolpad , and Lenovo . They all have their own “killer features”, all of which are gearing up and waiting to rub Huawei phones on the ground.

In fact, Yu Chengdong was also very imaginary. He had designed a mobile phone for Ren Zhengfei before. Because of frequent crashes and cumbersomeness, he almost made Ren Zhengfei scratch the phone directly on his face.

In order to stop everyone’s mouth, Yu Chengdong set up a series of Flags: Huawei mobile phones will become the world’s leading mobile phone terminal manufacturer within three years, and the sales target will triple in one year…

Everyone was amused: Good guy, I don’t have anything on hand, I just want to catch up with big brands like Apple and Samsung. Isn’t this a bullshit? Do you dare to blow anything in “Yu Dazui”?

Yu Chengdong’s heart is actually the same as Der Spiegel: Huawei’s mobile phone can’t make a decent reputation. He will either leave or stay in the company for a lifetime. Thinking of this, his stubbornness came up again.

He put his final bet on a new mobile phone and poured all his resources and energy into it. This was the later successful P6, with a body thickness of only 6.18mm, which was the thinnest mobile phone in the world at that time.

"Tough" Yu Chengdong, will become the best candidate to succeed Ren Zhengfei?

In 2013, 4 million units of the P6 priced at 2688 yuan were sold, making a sensation in the market. You know, the best performance among Huawei’s mobile phones before was only 1 million units. Yu Chengdong immediately launched the long-awaited ” Glory ” series, which has since really launched an impact on several major mobile phone brands.

A year later, Yu Chengdong made persistent efforts to launch the mate 7 featuring “large screen, long battery life, high performance, and safety”. The sales of more than 4 million units once again allowed Huawei to gain a firm foothold in the mobile phone market.

In the  era of the Internet of Everything, no one will be an island 

In 2017, with the reshuffle of the market, domestic mobile phone brands are basically only four domestic brands of Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo in the melee.

Among them, Huawei mobile phones are recognized as having the highest technological content. Because they are equipped with the self-developed HiSilicon Kirin chip, Huawei mobile phones are disdainful of competing with mid- and low-end mobile phones and directly use the four models “D/Mate”, “P”, “G” and “Y”. Series, positioned in the high-end market.

2018, Huawei cell phone to score sales of 200 million, China’s mobile phone market sales crown , the global market share almost equal to Samsung and Apple. At this time, Huawei’s consumer business has overtaken the operator’s business. Yu Chengdong’s long-term “quality strategy” finally exerted its power. Huawei internally said with a smile, “Yu Dazui” finally realized what it once said.

It is a pity that people are not as good as heaven. Starting in 2019, the US Department of Commerce has included Huawei on the “Entity List” and prohibits US companies from selling related technologies and products to Huawei. Although many of Huawei’s projects are independent research and development, most of its business has nothing to do with the “ban” in the United States, but Huawei’s mobile phone business is different, because it chooses applications such as GMS ( Google Mobile Services), which is equivalent to Huawei’s overseas terminals The business was sentenced to “death penalty.”

Sudden “bad news” led to an avalanche decline in sales of Huawei’s mobile phones in the entire overseas market. Shipments fell by 50% year-on-year, and sales directly decreased by 50 million units.

The recession of the international market forced Yu Chengdong to turn his energies to the domestic market, and proposed a strategy of “crossing the river”: continue to focus on high-end flagship stores, while not giving up channels in third- and fourth-tier cities and villages, and fully open up channel sales.

After a lot of effort, Huawei’s mobile phones once again turned their heads back with its “national brand” label, and its total sales rose instead of falling, reaching 240 million units, a year-on-year increase of 16.8%.

In the face of so-called “sanctions”, many people are afraid of the technological prowess of the United States, and they always worry that the sky may collapse after being blocked. But Yu Chengdong has no fear. He has done things that others think are difficult and impossible along the way.

On August 9, 2019, at the Huawei Developer Conference, Yu Chengdong announced the Hongmeng OS system to the outside world, which made the market excited. That day happened to be his 50th birthday.

"Tough" Yu Chengdong, will become the best candidate to succeed Ren Zhengfei?

Most people at this age don’t have much career pursuits, but Yu Chengdong said to the public, “Under the current Sino-US relations, we still have to do.” After finishing speaking, he turned and immersed himself in his HMS ecology, with all his strength. Create Huawei’s “1+8+N” full-scene smart life model.

Facing the new scenario model of the Internet of Everything, Huawei has been exploring “cloud services”, which is a larger field than any model in the past, full of various business opportunities and possibilities. Therefore, Huawei announced the establishment of Cloud BU as early as 2017, and after three years it occupied 16% of the domestic market, only after Alibaba Cloud .

However, Ren Zhengfei is still dissatisfied with “Huawei Cloud” and has repeatedly stated that he “should seize the important opportunity of global cloud services.” But the cloud business market faces the world’s top Internet giants, such as foreign companies such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft , and domestic Alibaba , Baidu , and Tencent . It is hard to imagine how difficult it is to compete with these rivals. Finally, it was Yu Chengdong who came to chew on this “hard bone”.

5 To get  rid of opponents not only by technology and innovation, but also by mind and pattern 

In January 2021, Yu Chengdong will concurrently serve as President of Huawei Cloud and Computing BG, while continuing to take charge of the consumer business. The consumer business has also been stuffed into the smart car solution BU (IAS BU).

This is equivalent to Yu Chengdong shouldering the three aspects of Huawei’s terminal, automotive, and cloud computing business at the same time, and the responsibility is not ordinary.

Although in May, Yu Chengdong was removed from the CEO position of Huawei Cloud, he retained the position of Huawei’s terminal and smart car business, and it can still be seen that Ren Zhengfei has high hopes for Yu Chengdong’s car building.

The automobile market is currently at the cusp of “intelligent transformation”. The smart car business is the engine of Huawei’s future market growth. Who controls this “steering wheel” is crucial.

Every time Huawei faces major project changes, it seems that the first thing Ren Zhengfei thinks of is Yu Chengdong. As the “pioneer” who led Huawei’s business all the way through all obstacles, Yu Chengdong also did his part.

Although the smart car solution BU is only a business unit category, it can be at the same level as the consumer BG, and the mutual affiliation is not very large, which means that Yu Chengdong can have more autonomy in the smart car business field.

Because Huawei has repeatedly declared that it “does not build cars,” but is committed to “helping car companies build good cars,” Yu Chengdong has paid most attention to the “Huawei Smart Selection” business after taking over the automotive business. To put it bluntly, it is to help car owners choose and buy cars.

“Huawei Smart Selection” does not naturally sell cars of ordinary brands, but products of cooperative car companies equipped with Huawei’s smart car system. In fact, with the empowerment of Huawei technology, car companies have indeed benefited from real money.

"Tough" Yu Chengdong, will become the best candidate to succeed Ren Zhengfei?

The Cyrus SF5 that was just unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show this year, a little-known car company brand, has received more than 10,000 orders after being named “Huawei Smart Selection”.

Since it is a business, it has to make money. The split between Huawei and car companies becomes about 10% of sales, and the points that Huawei dealers can get become 7%-8%, which means that Huawei still has 2%-3% of revenue. Taking the SF5 priced at 250,000 yuan, Huawei has about 5000-7000 yuan in revenue.

Of course, this is only sales. Car companies use Huawei’s technical solutions and equipment to generate greater revenue.

After all, Huawei’s “money bag” is a bit deflated. In 2020, due to the superimposed effects of Sino-US trade frictions and the epidemic, Huawei’s cash flow this year was 35.2 billion, a drop of 61.5% year-on-year, which can be said to be disastrous.

Yu Chengdong’s life is not easy. The growth rate of consumer business has fallen from 30% to 3%, which is the lowest in history.

For Huawei to survive and develop, money must be made, and it must be big money. Ren Zhengfei threw this problem to Yu Chengdong. Regardless of whether it is a project responsible for the group or himself, Yu Chengdong must find a new market breakthrough.

Therefore, Yu Chengdong once again exposed the ruthless words of “Huawei is going to sell 300,000 cars”, and his confidence comes from the thousands of offline smart selection stores that Huawei will fully build. Behind this overall situation is Yu Chengdong’s hope that through the smart iCar solution, millions of users will be integrated into the smart car system to build a true smart travel and smart life ecosystem.

Yu Chengdong’s “ambition” is obviously what Ren Zhengfei expected, and it is also a long-term goal planned by Huawei. It’s just that the challenges he faces are far more complex and difficult than those he has ever experienced. 

Fortunately, Yu Chengdong, who is good at chewing “hard bones”, is also a “hard bone” himself. No matter what difficulties he encounters, he will not let go as long as he bites, and he will definitely give a solution. 

In the face of an unpredictable future, Yu Chengdong has no fear. He said in an interview: The pattern, vision and mind of the helm of an enterprise basically determine how far and how high the enterprise can go in the future, and I am also to myself. Such spurs and requirements are what I demand of our team. The pattern, vision and mind of our management team can also determine how far we can go and what height and state we reach.

The 52-year-old Yu Chengdong is not short of the three points of layout, vision and mind. Under Ren Zhengfei’s undisguised appreciation and constant beating, Yu Chengdong, who has been growing up in adversity, has long become Huawei’s mainstay, and even the “one choice” to succeed Ren Zhengfei in the future.

What is the future? We just need to wait for time to answer.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/tough-yu-chengdong-will-become-the-best-candidate-to-succeed-ren-zhengfei/
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