Huawei's revenue rose almost 12 per cent last year to $39.5bn, generating a net profit of $3.5bn. In 2013, Huawei invested $5.1bn in research and development, and Mr Ren said it would continue to focus on developing new products.
He said Huawei would also keep investing in countries such as the UK and parts of Europe that have been more welcoming to the Chinese company. Continued investment in businesses in the region would mean that in future it would be perceived as a European company, he added.
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A 'shy' man who regrets not fulfilling his filial duties
Ren Zhengfei provided a rare insight into the motivations of a "shy" man with almost no hobbies who has created one of the world's largest technology groups in spite of early setbacks.
"Work and making money – there are no other hobbies," said Mr Ren, founder of Huawei, as he described a hard early start to life in a poor family that spared little time for personal interests. "My personal life is not that colourful," he said.
On prompting by an adviser, Mr Ren disclosed that he enjoyed reading and drinking tea – specifically, of the British afternoon variety.
Mr Ren had never spoken to the Western press until recently, which he acknowledged had created a reputation of himself as mysterious. But he said this was "maybe because I am a person who is shy."
However, he then opened up about his personal life at a meeting in London, describing how after leaving the Chinese army in 1983, he headed to Shenzhen to start his own business.
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Mr Ren was let go from the army at a period when non-combatant officers were being cut back, which he said was accepted reluctantly given the progress he had made.
A salary of $30 a month was difficult to leave behind, he added, until he got to Shenzhen and realised that workers were earnings $50 a month.
However, his initial business attempts were set back by duplicitous partners. "It turned out that I was cheated by the others in the business," he said.
This forced him into learning about how the law worked, which led to a realisation about how to benefit from the shift happening in China from a controlled to a market economy. He grasped that the key element of business under his control was the quality of the supply chain, which began a life-long obsession with research and development.
Even so, he said that many of Huawei's Shenzhen peers from that period had died away, making him a "moth surviving the flames". The one word that summed up his experience of Shenzhen was "pain", he added, as a succession of challenges during that period exhausted him.
But the biggest pain for Mr Ren is a personal one. "I didn't fulfil my obligations to my parents," he said, which has left him with a "life-long regret".
—By Daniel Thomas of The Financial Times