Fac­tors that set ICT gi­ant apart

China Daily (USA) - - FOCUS | BUSINESS - By NING JIAJUN

Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co’s 14-port and 3-D Hexa-beam an­ten­nas, re­cently un­veiled at the 5th An­nual Global An­tenna and Ac­tive An­tenna Unit Fo­rum in Paris, have grabbed in­dus­trial at­ten­tion, es­pe­cially in Europe.

The prod­ucts can ad­dress the chal­lenges of the 4.5G and5Gera. As Zhang Ji­ayi, pres­i­dent of the com­pany’s an­tenna busi­ness unit, said at the fo­rum: “Huawei fo­cuses on sat­is­fy­ing the re­quire­ments of op­er­a­tors in theMBB(mo­bile broad­band) era.”

The ICT (in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy) gi­ant’s achieve­ments glob­ally, par­tic­u­larly in Europe where giants Nokia and Eric­s­son used to hold sway, are note­wor­thy and a tes­ti­mony to Laf­font’s “The­ory of Com­pe­ti­tion in Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions”: in­dus­trial guid­ance and reg­u­la­tion can draw­in­spi­ra­tion of any sort.

Com­pared with in­fras­truc­tural sec­tors like high­ways and port con­struc­tion, Zhang Ji­ayi, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions is more de­mand­ing due to fre­quent tech­nol­ogy re­newals.

It also has a longer in­dus­trial chain than the petro­chem­i­cal sec­tor, even though the end con­sumers of both are very price-sen­si­tive.

In­tel­lec­tual prop­erty bar­ri­ers are more com­monly seen in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions than other emerg­ing sec­tors due to its long his­tory and mo­nop­o­lies. So, study­ing Huawei’s suc­cess in western Europe and its global strat­egy, not just its high-tech projects, would yield use­ful lessons.

Lead­ing in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies in China have be­come a ma­jor fo­cus within the IT in­dus­try. The coun­try is look­ing for­ward to ex­port­ing a greater num­ber of high-tech prod­ucts and sharp­en­ing its com­pet­i­tive­ness. So, the re­spon­si­bil­ity of go­ing global has fallen upon firms like Huawei, as China shifts its econ­omy to­ward tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion.

Strat­egy-wise, Huawei’s global de­vel­op­ment is about not just cor­po­rate or sec­toral growth but in­no­va­tion. In ad­di­tion to its Chi­nese roots, Huawei also has to thank its man­age­ment’s right calls, their open­ness and dogged­ness as well as its em­ploy­ees’ hard­work.

More than a decade back, Huawei was fac­ing press­ing chal­lenges and had to strug­gle for sur­vival. Its path to­ward glob­al­iza­tion has en­abled China to learn tremen­dously.

Huawei has been fol­low­ing three strate­gies: fo­cus, in­te­gra­tion and open­ness. Xu Wen­wei, Huawei’s chief strat­egy and mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer as well as head of its Euro­pean op­er­a­tions, said sev­eral times that the com­pany has adopted a part­ner­ship strat­egy in Europe.

Be­sides team­ing up with SAP and Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don, Huawei works with part­ners in­clud­ing Al­stom and Bri­tish Tele­com, as it seeks toim­proveit­sprod­uct­sand­ser­vices and in­tro­duce ad­di­tional value.

Lis­ten­ing to clients’ de­mands care­fully and join­ing with part­ners gave Huawei suc­cess in Europe, as Xu said. And that’s the way it will re­tain its tech­no­log­i­cal edge.

The com­pany ac­tively ful­fils its so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and in­te­grates into lo­cal so­ci­ety wher­ever it op­er­ates, un­like some Chi­nese firms that are some­times seen over­seas as be­ing in­ter­ested only in projects that can gen­er­ate “fast money”.

In­tan­gi­ble as­sets, in­clud­ing brand recog­ni­tion and cor­po­rate rep­u­ta­tion, should be given the high­est pri­or­ity. Chi­nese peers have a lot to learn from Huawei in this re­spect.

Huawei has climbed from 88 to 72 on In­ter­brand’s 2016 Best Global Brands rank­ing, making it one of the fastest ris­ers in the tech­nol­ogy sec­tor.

Its brand value in­creased 18 per­cent year-on-year to $5.84 bil­lion, a re­sult of brand build­ing. Brand recog­ni­tion can bring value in a real sense, as com­pa­nies will have more room in pric­ing, and it also serves as pro­tec­tion in times of cri­sis.

Rep­u­ta­tion and brand are in­ter­twined. A good rep­u­ta­tion is the ba­sis for a good brand, while a good brand can bring good rep­u­ta­tion. Huawei’s knowl­edge of how to cul­ti­vate its rep­u­ta­tion is one of the rea­sons for its world­wide recog­ni­tion. The big­gest dis­tinc­tion set­tingHuawei apart from its peers is how it lives out its glob­al­iza­tion strat­egy. The writer is di­rec­tor of the Ex­perts Com­mit­tee at the State In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter in Beijing.

Huawei fo­cuses on sat­is­fy­ing the re­quire­ments of op­er­a­tors in the MBB era.” pres­i­dent of Huawei’s an­tenna busi­ness unit

ZHANG FAN / XIN­HUA

A vis­i­tor tests a vir­tual re­al­ity de­vice at the Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co’s stand at an in­dus­trial expo in Han­nover, Ger­many.

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