Huawei, might be becoming a fixture in telecom bids around the planet, but its low-cost products are finding few takers among the US telecoms, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company which is on a tight leash from its masters in China made all the classic mistakes a foreign company would make in the US. What they learnt was the US has its own buddy system.
Drinking with customers and playing golf might be a global practice, but US telecoms will put products through a rigorous testing procedure before signing on the dotted link. This is quite unlike China, where a nod-and-a-wink translated into billions in sales. Rest of the story looks back at the code-stealing allegations Cisco made against the company and other intellectual property issues. I loved this bit about the company!
> …2001 in Plano, Texas, Huawei executives sought to blend into their surroundings as quickly as possible. They share their building with law offices, realtors and a regional office of lingerie company Victoria’s Secret. A Texas state flag and an American receptionist greet visitors in Huawei’s ground-floor lobby. The company now has about 150 employees in the Plano office and in a few sales offices around the U.S.
All that said, Huawei’s domination of fast growing Chinese market and rapid adoption in other emerging economies gives it economies of scale that can help it price products lower than US giants. Remember at one time people laughed at tin-cans from Japan, and now Toyota is about to unseat GM as world’s biggest car company. One thing I have learnt about Chinese companies – they adapt and change really fast. Huwaei 2.0 won’t make the same mistakes again.