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#Huawei #China: Nothing is more important than you being inspired and empowered!

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On 16 March, 2017, Huawei (West Europe) and Rotterdam School of Management set up a collaboration based on smart education and digital transformation, covering an overarching collaboration on research and education, between Europe and China. The leader of the collaboration programme, Professor Ying Zhang1, in this article shares her brief observations and ideas about Huawei’s success as the representative of Chinese multinationals.

Ren Zhengfei, as the founder and the “spiritual guru” of Huawei, has been legitimizing Huawei as a company for employees (with himself only sharing 1.4%). Most studies about Huawei’s success argues on its collective ownership structure, ignoring the foundation of such a structure from an ex-ante point of view, which not only grants employees an equal right to own their endeavours and returns on the basis of legal structure of “ownership legitimacy”, but also acknowledges and respects employees’ equal identity to strive for better conditions and collectiveness. Huawei is an employee-collectively-owned company, but is also a “planet” infused with respect to hardship, a strong striving attitude, and raising and praising strivers.

Therefore, the purpose of a company is altered, from being financial-oriented to collectively striving for collective goodness. This consists of two spheres of action: the value sphere and the system sphere. In the value sphere, Huawei sticks to the principles of being collaborative, open, striving, humble, abstracted in its core value: taking customers as the first and striving effort as the foundation (以客户为中心,以奋斗者为本" in Chinese), being the foundation of Huawei culture, rooting in Huawei’s hearts; being upheld by Huawei people; and bringing Huawei to its current position and move forward (Huawei’s committments to their own core value). In its system sphere, working with stakeholders is the key. The value sphere acts as the axis of 'Huawei Planet', guaranteeing that Huawei is more self-conscious, while the system sphere serves as “Huawei Energy” to connect Huawei with each other (internal and external members) efficiently.

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These two spheres have co-evolved. The value sphere of Huawei sticks to the tradition of Chinese philosophy (four spheres of living built on Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism - an innocent sphere, utilitarian sphere, moral sphere, and transcendent sphere), while the system sphere has been continuously upgraded by learning from the global leading partners. Thus, the concept of Huawei’s customer-first core value can be unfolded. The implementations of such are on Huawei’s daily strategy and behavior: (1) customer-centre is a mindset taking stakeholder-based views and the vision of helping the world prepare for a digital (sharing) economy, which paves a path to an equality-based social-economic structure. (2) collaboration implies learning to share with stakeholders on their concerns, values, tension, responsibility, benefits and by doing so, innovation can be emerged and respected, with joint endeavours with stakeholders. Examples of such are numerous, and happen everyday with Huawei’s stakeholders. The well-known cases are Huawei as the first one rescuing ICT infrastructure for clients, onset disasters, during the earthquake in Chile and Japan, as well as the war in Iraq and Libya.

To interpret Huawei’s success in an equation, I propose the collective prosperity that Huawei appreciates as the dependent variable; while being collaborative, open, being striving, being humble as independent variables. All the variables can be sub-categorized into the internal and the external, as well as subjected to individual, and to the sum. From an input point of view, collectiveness requires being open, being humble, and collaborative in both attitude and action, which I call it Mentality-Behavioral Property (MBP). From an output point of view, collectiveness implies generating open phenomena, shared platform/economy, humble culture, and striving with collaborators, which I call it Intellect Property (IP). IP can be referred to “the spirit”, while MBP can be referred to “the empowering process”. Importantly, this equation is not a one-time one-way simulation, but recycles over time, which means that MBP generates IP; IP endogenizes MBP. In terms of the cross-effect, Mentality-Intellect Property is served by the Value Sphere, while Behavioral Property is served by the System Sphere. Therefore, the Value-System Spheres, MBIP System, Four Spheres of Living all together (with an order) decode the Huawei’s success. Variables in this equation do not simply create effects (collective prosperity) alone; instead, taking effect by pairing the other team of concept/commands: “being competitive, being tough, and being ambitious”. The pairs are not conflicted, but complemented. Studying on Huawei’s catching up, being humble is for self to others and for self to be more self-conscious, while being tough is for self to self in immersing personal goals with company’s collective goals in order to approach to the moral sphere of living (or even beyond); being ambitious is for self to self in imprinting own-dream on company’s collective dream, however measured by being “competitive ”for self to self in striving for a better solution for clients (and other stakeholders).

In addition, this ideology of Zhong Yong (Doctrine of the Mean) in the tradition of Chinese philosophy within the stream of Confucianism is reflected in Huawei practice as well, where Huawei takes the notions of its application on being of objectivity, sincerity, honesty, and improvement through self-watchfulness (in one of ways of Zhong Yong’s guidance), meaning learning from others to improve self during the process of self-cultivation via self-education (high R&D investment), self-discipline(focusing and concentrating), and self-questioning (improving from problem-solving). In terms of collaborating with stakeholders, Huawei’s practice is reflected well by Zhong Yong’s guidance in Leniency where Huawei has been trying to perfect their capability in understanding, eliminating concerns, and holding tolerance towards stakeholders, particularly towards their customers (customer-centered strategy).

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To some extent, it is not fair to simply claim the reason of Huawei’s catching up and its great success to their particular organizational culture, or their tougher system of management practice (as many discussions externally). In my view, the analysis regarding this should be holistic, meaning that we should not just focus on how well and how fast Huawei learned from western management practice and capable to tailor-make their management outfit but also must understand the role of their core value in such a holistic system. As discussion aforementioned, the value side and outfit (system) side are complemented and constitute Huawei’s catching up construction, by which Huawei is able to practice their daily management (which they either acquired or learned from collaborators (such as operational, accounting, and human resource management systems), and able to do self-cultivation process through self-education, self-discipline, and self-questioning. This mechanism is down to the core of their cognitive notion of carrying customer-first and thrive-pride value. Huawei is a perfect example of Chinese firms being thriving in a particular sector worldwide, by indigenously promoting an Eastern-Western integrative model that carries Chinese philosophy as the root and the best western management practice as the expression. This construction-derived application can be argued sourcing from the application of eco-system and stakeholder-view, and fundamentally benefiting from the tradition of Chinese philosophy where the sphere of living and the doctrine of the mean are taken into account.

To close, the definition of success is various, and the reasons for success are random. Judging Huawei as an entity of success or not needs to take on an extra condition which I stress as the setting of time-being and space-boundary. Success is only a status within time-being in a specific space. It can be a cause and same time can be a consequence. We shouldn’t take success as the reason to investigate a target while shouldn’t for a non-success. Success is a way, and additionally is on the way rather than on the destination. What is seen or heard differs from what is understood and believed. My experience working with Huawei people and years of collaborating with them formally and informally assure me that a less error-added methodology to understand others is an in-person emersion approach, meaning that allowing yourself to be part of the study target’s spheres of living, with a strong self-control towards no subjective judgment, being humble with study subjects, feeling what they feel, thinking what they think, speaking what they speak, paining what they pain, and most importantly believing in what they believe in the universe of Huawei’s “collective effort towards collective prosperity”.

1 Dr. Ying Zhang is an Associate Dean for China Business and a Professor on Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as the Founder of Erasmus-Huawei Collaboration Program, at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands. [email protected]

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Climate Action: EU-China joint press communiqué on the fight against climate change ahead of COP26

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Following their second high-level environment and climate dialogue on 27 September 2021, Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans and Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China Han Zheng reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement and a successful outcome of the COP26 in Glasgow. In a joint press release, they stressed the urgency to act immediately, notably in the light of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They also confirmed that that the high-level environment and climate dialogue will continue to be a key platform between the EU and China to enhance actions and bilateral cooperation on environment and in the fight against climate change. During their last meeting, they discussed various aspects of the global climate and biodiversity crises, with a focus on the forthcoming UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow and on COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming. More details on the discussion are available here

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China lodges stern representations with Australia on Taiwan comments

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The Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday (11 October) that China has lodged stern representations with Australia over "inappropriate" comments by former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about Taiwan, write Yew Lun Tian and Ryan Woo, Reuters.

Abbott last week visited Taiwan, which is claimed by China, in a personal capacity, met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, and told a security forum that China may lash out with its economy slowing and finances "creaking". Read more.

"The relevant words and actions by the Australian politician go against the One China Principle and send a seriously wrong signal," Zhao Lijian, a spokesman at the Chinese foreign ministry, told a regular media briefing. "China is firmly opposed to this. We have made stern representations to Australia."

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Corruption in China’s chamber of justice

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The CCP’s former justice minister Fu Zhenghua is now under probe for serious disciplinary violations - he had previously launched a politically motivated prosecution against prominent dissident Guo Wengui AKA Miles Kwok, writes Louis Auge.

In recent days the Chinese Communist Party has signalled its intention to pursue its anti-corruption efforts even amidst the higher echelons of the ruling party’s legal and judicial spheres. The campaign, launched by President Xi Jinping in 2018 with the slogan "Saohei chu'e," meaning "sweep away black and eliminate evil", has targeted a staggering number of purportedly corrupt state actors over the course of the past three years.

China's legislature has hailed the campaign as a huge success – having exposed almost 40,000 alleged criminal cells and corrupt companies, and more than 50,000 Communist Party and government officials having been punished for allegedly abetting them, according to official statistics. And Beijing is showing no signs of slowing down its pursuit of individuals they perceive to have fallen foul of the system – even at the top.

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In what is being perceived as the latest show of China's iron fist against corruption in the political and legal system, over the weekend it was announced that Fu Zhenghua, the deputy director of the social and legal affairs committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) - China's top political advisory body - is under disciplinary and supervisory investigation for suspected violations of CCP protocol.

Before taking up his post at the CPPCC, Mr. Fu had served as justice minister and deputy police chief for the Beijing municipal police department, where he was praised by the CCP hierarchy for cracking down on the city's sex industry, earning himself a promotion to executive vice minister for public security.

He was also known for cracking down on prominent and successful families. In 2014, Mr. Fu a conducted what many critics perceived to be politically motivated prosecution against Guo Wengui AKA Miles Kwok, a high profile CCP dissident now living in exile in the United States. Mr. Kwok subsequently revealed that Mr. Fu had ordered an investigation into the family finances of Wang Qishan, the country’s current Vice President, causing rumours to swirl about Mr. Fu’s political future.

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The allegations against him failed to stick however – with Mr. Fu going on to be promoted to the position of Minister of Justice – but his path up the CCP power ranks now appears to have run out of road. He is not the only high ranking official to feel the wrath of Beijing recently. News of the investigation came just days after the CCP announced it was expelling former vice minister of public security Sun Lijun, having accusing him of "forming cliques and cabals to take over a key department," and of keeping a private collection of confidential documents.

Regarding Mr. Fu, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) - the ruling Communist Party's anti-corruption watchdog - announced simply that he is under investigation for "serious violations of party discipline and law." The one-sentence statement did not offer any further details into the indictment.

According to CNN, the announcement was welcomed by a wide range of figures online, from rank-and-file police officers and prison guards to investigative journalists, human rights lawyers and intellectuals. No doubt outspoken CCP critics such as Mr. Kwok will also have felt vindicated by the development, to say the least.

In recent months President Xi has stepped up his party’s clamp down on rising political stars and overly powerful officials. However what is unusual about the fate of Mr. Fu's is how loudly and widely – in other words, unanimously – it is being celebrated, both by people working for the regime, and by those who have been subject to its repression.

Following news of his downfall, several veteran investigative journalists said on social media they had been targeted by Mr. Fu for their hard-hitting reports, on topics ranging from illegal detention of petitioners to local government corruption.

"The targets of Fu Zhenghua's crackdown are people at the core of China's civil society. Therefore, the country's whole intellectual sector and the wider public are all thrilled by (his fall from grace)," said Wu Qiang, a political analyst in Beijing. "His rise to power represented the aggressive iron-fist approach that has shaped China's governance over the past decade."

Mr. Fu's aggressive approach was also applied to police officers and prison guards, many of whom have been celebrating his downfall on social media. Comments make reference to Mr. Fu’s imposition of draconian working conditions for entry-level officers, such as not allowing prison guards to take breaks during night shifts.

Some analysts have suggested that this series of recent purges demonstrate declining trust from the Chinese leadership in the country's domestic security agencies. In the words of Wu Qiang, “It is very difficult for Beijing to have political trust. This is the biggest crisis in its governance". For critics such as Miles Kwok, it is also a sign of that the fractures within the centre of the ruling party are beginning to widen. Whether it is chasm that can be bridged is anyone’s guess.

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