I recently had a meeting with Huawei executives and they have grand plans. The company is a leading Chinese equipment provider and moreover has a surprisingly large suite of products ranging from EVDO cards for laptops to WiMAX and optical networking equipment.
In fact a look at the company’s product portfolio shows there are few products lacking from their arsenal. You name it and they seem to make it… Cell phones, DSL, 3G and FTTX are just a few other examples of where they excel.
Currently 60% of their business is international in nature while China accounts for the remainder of their business. They told me Europe and Asia are their fastest growing markets at the moment while in the US they have 20 customers and networks in 25 states.
An area which they hope to lead is in IMS and FMC solutions and they think they have the background in related technologies to be able to become the world leader in both.
Meeting with the company’s executives gives a fresh perspective on how Chinese companies differ from American ones. In my meeting I felt more like I was in China than in any meeting I have ever had.
When I meet with some of the largest telecom equipment manufacturers from the US and other countries I feel as if these companies have much larger egos than at Huawei. I don’t want to lump all companies together but some definitely have bigger egos than others.
Perhaps the best way to describe my 30 minutes or so with Huawei was egoless. For such a big company this was very refreshing.
Huawei simply wants my readers to know they exist. They are looking to raise their profile. Furthermore they are doing well and would like an opportunity to compete for your business.
This sort of meeting is not what you expect from the largest telecom equipment provider in the largest and fastest growing market in the world. It reminded me in some bizarre way of Big Stick Diplomacy and the old adage, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”
But cultural differences aside the company is making inroads into the US and they seem to be under the radar of many service providers. One wonders if the Chinese culture will be as successful in the US as it is elsewhere. Personally I felt more compelled to write about the company because I respected the way the executives carried themselves. This same approach seems to be enabling Huawei to sell products competitively worldwide. The question worth asking is will Huawei become a major US supplier soon and if so will they force other vendors to reconsider their approach to customers and journalists?

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