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Huawei founder says US sanctions not his toughest crisis

SHENZHEN, China — For decades, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei stayed out of sight as his company grew to become the biggest maker of network gear for phone carriers and passed Apple as the No. 2 smartphone brand.

Now, Ren is shedding that anonymity as Huawei Technologies Ltd. mobilizes to overcome the latest threat to its success: U.S. sanctions and warnings that is a security risk.

The billionaire entrepreneur is at the center of the Trump administration’s fight with China over technology. The 75-year-old former army engineer who worked his way out of childhood poverty has survived competition that drove Western rivals out of the market, financial peril and stress so severe he contemplated suicide.

He sees American pressure as just the latest test for him and his company.

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