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Huawei snaps up former Mandarin for UK advisory board

Wants to know what's what in Blighty

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The makeover of Chinese telecom-kit manufacturer Huawei continues apace, with the company appointing ex-UK Trade and Investment mandarin Sir Andrew Cahn to its latest wheeze: a UK Advisory Board.

Sir Andrew will head up the new board, which will recruit additional figures over the next few months. The plan is part of the company's makeover plans, an ongoing project to help the company compete in western markets. The UK Advisory Board will be working out how Huawei can successfully insinuate itself into the UK's telecommunications industry, a project for which Sir Andrew seems ideally skilled.

Not that the former CEO of UK T&I will have a lot of time to devote to the task: the poor chap is already vice chairman at Japanese nearly-zaibatsu The Nomura Group, and he still has to find time to work on the Franchise Board at Lloyds of London.

With five years at UK T&I under his belt, and stints at the EU and Foreign Office, Sir Andrew is ideally placed to explain how best to do business here, but Huawei also expects him to "advise Huawei on localisation and corporate social responsibility initiatives as well as drive understanding of the Huawei corporate brand amongst government and media stakeholders".

So basically he'll be advising on how to avoid being portrayed, or thought of, as a Communist-army-backed sweatshop bent on sabotaging western companies, while stealing their secrets, and planting listening devices/kill switches into key infrastructure locations.

It's a tough gig, but someone has to do it. ®

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