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.
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).
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]
Meng Wanzhou: Questions over Huawei executive’s arrest as legal battle continues
When a Canadian border officer did some hurried research on the internet on 1 December 2018, the result left him "shocked". He had just been told that a Chinese woman was landing at Vancouver airport in a few hours and that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had an arrest warrant out for her based on a US request. What the research revealed was that she was the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and the daughter of the company's founder. It was at that moment that border officials realised they were about to be plunged into the centre of a major international incident which, nearly two years on, has not gone away.
The woman was Meng Wanzhou (pictured) whose flight from Hong Kong arrived at Gate 65 at 11:10 local time. She was on a stopover in Canada, where she has two homes, before heading on to business meetings in Mexico. Further details of what took place at the airport have been revealed in a Vancouver court in the past week as part of the latest stage of legal battle that could stretch on for years.
Her lawyers are pursuing a multi-pronged strategy to prevent her being extradited to the US on charges of misleading the bank HSBC in a way which might lead to it breaking US sanctions on Iran.
Meng's lawyers have been arguing that there was abuse of process in the way the arrest was carried out.
One of the issues they raised is why Meng was questioned for nearly three hours by officers from Canadian Border Services Agency before she was formally arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Her lawyers are looking for signs that proper procedures were not followed in what unfolded in those hours.
Meng, who appeared in court wearing the security ankle bracelet that is required for her bail, was described as "calm" during her initial questioning at the airport because she had no idea what was coming next.
Border officials took her phones and devices and placed them in a special bag - designed to prevent any electronic interference. Border officials also got her passwords and PIN codes for the devices but the court heard that they mistakenly handed these, along with the devices, over to the RCMP when they technically should not have done. The police officer who eventually arrested her after the border questioning was challenged in court as to why he did not do so earlier. Her lawyers are looking for evidence a co-ordinated plan by border agency and police - perhaps with the guiding hand of the US behind them - to improperly detain and question her without a lawyer.
Officials deny this and say the border questioning was to establish whether there was any reason she could not be admitted, for instance involvement in espionage. The police officer also testified "safety" concerns were one reason he did not arrest Ms Meng immediately after her Cathay Pacific 777 flight landed.
This part of the legal battle will focus on whether procedures were followed and if not, whether that was due to simple mistakes or the result of any plan.
The RCMP officer who took custody of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s electronics on the day of her arrest two years ago says foreign law enforcement never asked him to obtain the passcodes or search the devices.
Const. Gurvinder Dhaliwal said Monday American officials asked that Meng’s devices be seized and stored in special bags to prevent them from being erased remotely, which he considered to be a reasonable request.
He said he wasn’t concerned when the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer handed him a piece of paper with the passcodes written on it after the immigration exam adjourned and she was being arrested by RCMP.
“I didn’t even think about it, I just put them with the phones and I thought, this is her phones and these passcodes belong to her phones and eventually these phones and these belongings would go back to her once the process is complete,” Dhaliwal told B.C. Supreme Court under examination by Crown counsel John Gibb-Carsley.
Dhaliwal told the evidence-gathering hearing that he never asked officers from border services to obtain the passcodes or to ask any particular questions during Meng’s immigration exam.
Meng is wanted in the U.S. on fraud charges based on allegations related to American sanctions against Iran that both she and Chinese tech giant Huawei deny.
Her lawyers are collecting information they hope will support their allegation that Canadian officers improperly gathered evidence at the request of U.S. investigators under the guise of a routine border exam.
For the first time, the court also heard that security codes to at least one of Meng’s homes were also recorded on a piece of paper.
Dhaliwal described a photo to the court that showed the paper on top of boxes she travelled with as having the key to her residences and a “security code” for her house.
Dhaliwal said the paper was passed to him by a Mountie who was based at Vancouver’s airport.
“I have no idea where he got it from,” Dhaliwal said, adding he has not been involved in any discussion about those security codes.
Dhaliwal assumed the role of “exhibits officer” in Meng’s case, meaning he was charged with ensuring anything seized from her was documented, safe and secure.
After her arrest, Meng’s case was transferred to the financial integrity branch of the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime unit because it was a “complex” case, he said.
Dhaliwal received a request from Staff Sgt. Ben Chang indicating that the U.S. was asking for certain information in anticipation of an application through the mutual legal assistance treaty between the two countries, he said.
Dhaliwal was asked to record the electronic serial numbers, makes and models of her electronics, he said. He did so with help from the RCMP tech unit, he said. But at no point did he ever use the passcodes on the devices, nor was he asked to search the devices, he said.
Later, he was contacted by a senior CBSA officer inquiring about the piece of paper with the phone passcodes, he said.
“She had indicated to me that the codes were given in error to us,” Dhaliwal said.
As the codes were already part of an exhibit, he testified that he told her they were under the court’s authority and he could not return them.
The case continues.
Cambridge Wireless and Huawei partner to build the first private 5G testbed in Cambridge Science Park
CW (Cambridge Wireless), an international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless technologies, is teaming up with the global technology leader Huawei, to deploy and build Cambridge’s first 5G mobile private network within the Science Park.
The new set-up will allow Cambridge’s world-renowned technology community to undertake cutting edge new digital research and application in key areas such as autonomous vehicles, clean energy and remote surgery.
The 5G testbed will go live in January next year and kicks off a three-year partnership between Cambridge Wireless and Huawei, which will involve digital training, business support and joint events.
The aim is to explore how advanced wireless technology can have a far-reaching impact on both society and the economy.
“We are constantly working to provide value to CW members,” said CW CEO Simon Mead. “As home to one of the world’s most advanced R&D ecosystems, Cambridge is perfectly positioned for the rollout of next-generation wireless technology and we’re delighted to be driving this initiative with our partners. We hope to bring something unique to the Science Park to accelerate use cases and development of this technology. We invite ambitious businesses to get involved and through this exciting 3-year partnership with Huawei, we will support their 5G innovation journey.”
Huawei Vice-President Victor Zhang described the partnership as a key part of the business’s ongoing commitment to the UK. He said: “Huawei’s success is built on a relentless drive for innovation and we are able to keep pushing the boundaries of technology when we partner with those who share this ambition. The Cambridge eco-system is recognized as a global leader in technology and we are excited to work with the talent and vision in this eco-system. We hope to enable Cambridge Wireless members to reach new heights by allowing them access to our state-of-the-art equipment and markets including China and beyond. Our commitment to the UK and industry remains as strong as ever and we will continue to offer our expertise and technology to our partners to promote connections and innovation.”
The 5G testbed will be based at Cambridge Science Park, owned by Cambridge University, which is currently home to more than 120 tech companies and scale-ups.
Additional partnership with TusPark UK has been developed to accelerate the digitalisation of The Cambridge Science Park and enable businesses to exploit new capabilities, boost innovation and gain competitive advantage as they shift towards the adoption of 5G.
“We are looking for organizations that would like to create, accelerate and test out new and innovative applications and products on the CW 5G Testbed,” said CW Chief Commercial Officer Abhi Naha.
The 5G Testbed will be launched in January 2021. To find out more and how to get involved, please contact
Tel: +44(0)1223 967 101 | Mob: +44(0)773 886 2501
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About CW (Cambridge Wireless)
CW is the leading international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless and mobile, internet, semiconductor, hardware and software technologies.
With an active community of over 1000 technology companies ranging from major network operators and device manufacturers to innovative start-ups and universities, CW stimulates debate and collaboration, harnesses and shares knowledge, and helps to build connections between academia and industry.
Founded in 1987, Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. We are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. Huawei's end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes. At Huawei, innovation puts the customer first. We invest heavily in fundamental research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. We have nearly 194,000 employees, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than three billion people around the world. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.
For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com
Huawei supports open innovation to speed up tech development thus delivering high quality tech products into the marketplace
Huawei Public Affairs Director Dave Harmon yesterday (18 November) addresed an EU-China research and innovation forum that was hosted by Ivo Hristov MEP and which was supported by STOA, the College of Europe and EU40.
Other speakers that addressed this forum included European Research Council President Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Davide Cucino, the president Emeritus at the EU Chamber of Commerce in China and and Dr. Bernhard Muller who is a senior professor at the Technical University of Dresden.
Dave Harmon said: “Huawei as a company supports open innovation and actions that back open scientific activities in Europe and across the length and breadth of the world. Programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe are open by nature. This is the right political approach. This is because it will ensure that the best scientists across the world can and will work together in common cause to translate scientific effort into solutions for society. Science initiatives that are open will speed up the process of innovation. We are living through a digital transformation. ICT solutions are now modernizing different economic sectors across society and in a very speedy manner.
"The EU and China work on many common research initiatives including within the areas of urbanisation, agriculture, transport, aviation and health and the ICT sector underpins much of the collaborative actions within these policy spheres. This approach is enshrined within the framework agreements that the EU has with China that cover the science and technology sectors. Moreover, the EU Joint Research Centre has an MOU with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to work together on scientific advancement covering the transport, environment and agriculture sectors. The EU and China also has an innovation dialogue in place that is promoting higher levels of co-operation between the public and private sectors within the innovation policy space.
"China is now spending 2.5% GDP on research and development activities. This is ensuring that Chinese scientists can support global research measures that are successfully tackling the grand challenges that society faces today. Programmes such the EU-China mechanism for research and innovation that is administered by the Chinese ministry of science and Technology are ensuring higher levels of involvement from EU scientists in Chinese led research schemes. The European Commission sponsored Enrich initiative is also promoting higher levels of collaborative engagement between EU and Chinese researchers and business innovators alike.
"Huawei is an EU company. Huawei is deeply embedded within the ICT research eco-system. The company set up our first research centre in Sweden in the year 2000. Huawei has 230 technology partnerships with EU research institutes and collaborative arrangements with over 150 universities in Europe.
"Europe has great expertise and capabilities within the software engineering arena. Huawei, as a company ranks 5th in the 2019 European Commission Industrial Scoreboard for [email protected] Huawei has been an active participant in both FP7 and in Horizon 2020.
"Huawei is in a strong position to implement the policy goals of the European Union. International collaboration is a vital component within the research strategic space so as to ensure that EU policy objectives are fully implemented. Huawei wants to actively enable EU research and innovation actions under Horizon Europe and in particular in areas that will focus on the development of smart networks and services and the key digital technologies of the future.
"Moreover, there must be a stronger emphasis on green and environmental research at the basic and applied levels of scientific engagement. This will ensure that climate action targets will be reached and that the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be fully implemented.”
Dave Harmon is director for EU Public Affairs at Huawei Technologies and he is a former member in the cabinet of the EU Commissioner for research innovation and science 2010-2014.