Feeds

Huawei: Inside the lair of the not-so-hidden dragon

Reg hack reports on charm offensive at Huawei HQ

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Eyes on a $100bn prize

A carefully stage-managed trip with no access to senior global execs is not the best way to win over sceptical hacks, although having a close hand on the PR-tiller these days is pretty much a given for any successful global technology company. The Reg certainly felt a little like a Dordogne goose at times, having been pumped full of positive messaging for two days, but the only sign of any tension was when we were banned from taking pics of Huawei’s advanced CCTV surveillance equipment, which helps China and other governments around the world keep a close eye on their citizens.

Still, it’s difficult not to be impressed by Huawei HQ and the Songshan Lake plant which are at least on a par with anything its global rivals such as Cisco or Ericsson have, whether you believe that its stellar growth of the past quarter of a century is the result of hard work, fantastic leadership and a bit of luck or helped along at various points by dodgy business practices and shadowy state subsidies.

Huawei New World Coffee Shop

Coffee shop on Huawei's Shenzhen campus

Ovum VP of network infrastructure and Huawei-watcher, Dana Cooperson was pretty confident about the firm reaching its ambitious target of tripling revenue to $100bn by 2021, but came back to those corporate governance and political challenges.

“One key change it can make is simply allowing a more distributed decision-making framework. For such a large company, decision-making remains very centralised. It could increase the distance between it and the Chinese government. It could remove the ‘glass ceiling’ non-Chinese employees often feel. It can change its financing practices,” she told The Reg.

“Barriers have arisen in Australia, New Zealand, and India. Tensions are rising in Japan. And with the US election season underway, Obama and Romney have started sparring over who can be more tough with the Chinese. How this will resolve is hard to say. But I don’t see things getting easier for Huawei or ZTE in the US.”

In the end there is still a degree of learning taking place on both sides: the West about Huawei and vice versa. Its success in matching its vaulting ambition may in the end depend on just how much it’s prepared to bend to Western expectations of how a technology company should be run. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.