Who is Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei?

As he spent decades building one of the biggest tech companies on the planet, Ren Zhengfei kept a low public profile.The billionaire founder of Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei rarely spoke to the media, letting his company’s rapid growth around the world do the talking.

That’s changing as Huawei finds itself threatened by a US campaign targeting its global operations. Ren, 74, is now pulling back the curtain on his company, his family and his life. He says the challenges Huawei faces are nothing out of the ordinary for him.

“I think there’s always difficulties for me,” he told CNN in an interview on Wednesday. “I never had smooth sailing because when I was young, my family background wasn’t good. I had to work really hard to get even just a little bit of employment opportunity.”

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