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China’s tech guru rules out family succession

One of China’s best-known companies is to shun second-generation management in favour of passing on control to non-family managers.

One of China’s best-known companies is to shun second-generation management in favour of passing on control to non-family managers.

Ren Zhengfei, who founded Huawei Technologies – China’s biggest technology company with revenues of more than $35 billion (€30 billion)– 26 years ago, said he would not be passing on the business to any member of his family.

In a letter to employees, the 68 year-old and president of the business, said: "Huawei's successor should not only have vision, character and ambition, like what we've said before, but also a good global perspective and the acumen to drive the business."

He added: "My family members do not posses these qualities. Thus we will never be in the running of the successor race." 

Both Ren's son and daughter work at Huawei, but are not part of the rotating chief executive system that is currently in place to prepare the change of leadership, with different members of senior management taking the position every six months.

The Ren family currently control 1.18% of the Shenzhen-based business. The employees own the rest of the business. 

A number of China’s biggest companies are currently contemplating succession issues. Zong Qinghou, owner of China’s biggest soft drinks company Hangzhou Wahaha, says he expects his daughter Kelly to take over the business when he retires. 

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