Huawei’s global growth to help Chinese firms expand abroad

By Xiang Ligang Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/14 22:58:22

Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT

The US Commerce Department on May 15, 2019 announced restrictions on Huawei's access to American technology. Faced with the sudden crackdown exactly one year ago, the Chinese 5G giant was pushed to transform in many ways. Increasing its openness and developing more mature public relations in overseas markets were the company's most prominent adjustments.

As a private Chinese enterprise in the process of internationalization, Huawei was caught in the headwinds of protectionism. But the huge setback and severe situation was the catalyst for Huawei's growth and transformation over the last year. In fact, before the US' crackdown, the company had learned to deal with governments both in China and overseas during its rapid development.

In terms of crisis management, Huawei's performance has overtaken many traditional multinationals in Western countries. In the face of data privacy challenges in European countries, US tech giants like Google and Facebook posted poorer performances.

However, as Huawei dealt with the sudden crackdown and increasing pressure, the company became more open and mature. Founder Ren Zhengfei's media appearances have notably increased since the US launched its restrictions. Huawei's public relations department's appropriate response and its research and development team's work to improve product quality have effectively maintained the positive global image of the world's largest telecoms equipment maker and second-largest smartphone vendor. Huawei's revenue rose to a record $122 billion in 2019, revealing the Chinese tech giant's continued rise despite the Trump administration's campaign to curtail its global business.

Although many media outlets in Western countries continue to launch groundless prejudiced speculations about the relationship between Huawei and the Chinese government amid the company's growing tensions with the US government, it is clear that Huawei's development in overseas markets is not reliant on official Chinese diplomatic offices in those markets.

The transformations taking place within Huawei are bound to lead the formation of a Chinese multinational matrix. That will fundamentally improve Chinese companies' "going global" aims, which will make Chinese public diplomacy more multifaceted.

The fierce competition among Chinese tech companies, including Huawei, will mean Huawei's experience from its overseas operations will be studied by more competitors. In addition, high-frequency talent flows and exchanges among these companies will expedite Chinese company upgrades, allowing them to "go global."

The success of Huawei's overseas operations will also lead more of its domestic industrial chain partners to develop in overseas markets.

The author is chief executive of Chinese telecoms industry news website


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