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back to article So WHY does Huawei's enigmatic boss shun the West's spotlight?

The elusive chairman and founder of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei shies away from publicity – not because his past is marred by controversy, but rather because he doesn't want to become the next Steve Jobs or Steve Ballmer: a celebrity, of sorts, taking the focus away from the multinational's work. That, at least, is the view of …

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Anonymous Coward

"He said that the US is very sensitive to foreign investment, particularly from China."

Even though China holds much of the US's debt, maybe they should call it in!

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Where "So much" equals about 8%. Not insignificant, but not the total ownership some like to paint.

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Anonymous Coward

"not the total ownership some like to paint."

Indeed not.

Definitive references always welcome. obviously.

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Silver badge

"Where "So much" equals about 8%. Not insignificant, but not the total ownership some like to paint."

In referring to the total, you miss the point. The cause of China's US debt ownership is the trade imbalance, and that has risen now to $30 billion dollars a month. The overall trade deficit of the US was less than $40bn in the last reported month, so China is (on a continuing basis) a huge creditor to the US. The reduction in US debt held by China over recent years also disguises the fact that previous treasury purchases have been sold and investments made elsewhere, and China has thus traded paper promises to pay by Uncle Sam for tangible assets in world markets. So it looks as though they've got less call on the US, in fact they've merely sold that call to somebody else, and they continue to accrue US obligations to pay to the tune of a billion dollars a day.

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Anonymous Coward

The reason that the US is so convinced that Huawei equipment is full of secret backdoors for intelligence services is because the US knows for certain that US equipment is.

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Thumb Up

Have one of these, as well as an upvote!

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Anonymous Coward

Either that or they want to keep people from buying it because they can't get their backdoors in there.

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Anonymous Coward

That is close

The following is an extremely educated guess:

At some point, during the ~ 2 years when Huawei tried to crack the US market (3-4 years back), US asked Huawei for the list of features needed to do what was already being done using gear from the incumbents.

Well, my educated guess is that Huawei responded with a price, immediate availability and documentation. The big H is even more "feature request" driven than the rest of the industry. Having the feature available means that someone already asked for it.

That made the relevant people in the relevant US agencies choke on their dohnuts straight away. Someone got there before them...

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Re: That is close

Replace "agencies" with "corporations" and I'd say you're very close to the truth.

The US has a very long history of trade protection that ONLY benefits the corporations and not the consumer. Toyota being the biggest example.

Yet Toyota still ended up becoming the number one car company in the world., despite the artificial trade barriers of the US.

My favorite part? It was an American who taught them how to do it.

Oh the irony.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That is close

Doubt it.. Much more likely is it already had the code there because they 'procured' it from Cisco or others by means fair or foul. I used to work with someone who had previously worked with Huawei. He explained that if they didn't know how to configure a feature on a Huawei box, they'd look up the documentation on the Cisco website, and then configure it identically. Read up on the lawsuits between Huawei and Cisco of a few years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That is close

"Toyota still ended up becoming the number one car company in the world., despite the artificial trade barriers of the US. [snip] It was an American who taught them how to do it."

Deming, right? If so, well done.

But Deming's message included things unacceptable to most US/UK business management, in fact many if not most of his ideas were and still are unacceptableto management in private even if management espouse them in public, so it's no wonder the US/UK couldn't keep up. I won't paraphrase, it would be unfair to leave any out, you can find them elsewhere e.g.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming - in particular, see sections "Key Principles" and "Seven Deadly Diseases".

There are lots of books by and about Deming, well worth a read if you want to understand what we're missing out on in the West. A lot of it is "common sense" once it's written down.

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"During the privately held corporation's first European media day, held in Stockholm, Watts told reporters that recent reform in China had led to a desire for fewer state-owned enterprises. He was keen to stress that “Huawei, of course, is not a state-owned enterprise”."

Yeah - like that stopped NSA and whoever else sticking their fingers, (allegedly) planting backdoors or slurping data from the systems of the likes of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook. None of them are "state owned enterprises" either.

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Holmes

Huawei in Bristol

<< Huawei's desire, Watts explained, is to “be seen as part of Europe” >>

This would explain the rumours that HiSilicon (the semiconductor division of Huawei) might take over the Bristol site of STMicroelectronics (the historic site of Inmos, due for closure in March 2014).

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Anonymous Coward

Watts is a traitor

Who would believe a word he says

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WTF?

Re: Watts is a traitor

Where did that come from? In any case, everything he is reported as saying makes complete sense.

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Anonymous Coward

It means, significantly, that Watts has a vested interest and that the things he says is part of a messaging strategy.

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Anonymous Coward

What about

Giving a shit about the US market for some time. Not that big anyway. All they have achieved during the last twenty years is the most uneducated and stupid politicians ever.

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Mushroom

Shunning Attention

You know what elite group is comprised almost exclusively of ultra-wealthy industrialists who employ hundreds of thousands of faceless workers, have access to nearly unlimited technology and weaponry and also shuns public attention? Supervillains. Tell me this guy isn't a textbook example of a supervillain.

He'll be getting the attention he deserves soon enough, soon enough...

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Re: Shunning Attention

"You know what elite group is comprised almost exclusively of ultra-wealthy industrialists who employ hundreds of thousands of faceless workers, have access to nearly unlimited technology and weaponry and also shuns public attention?"

Wall Street.

I would suggest that the political, financial and industrial leaders of the US are far more effective super villains than anybody in China.

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Re: Shunning Attention

I agree with you.

I was attempting (poorly it would seem) a joke as the guy meets the description of every Bond villain ever. And that he would be getting his deserved attention when he hatched his plot for his global network of comms equipment to detonate their cunningly hidden EMP charges unless he received one trillion dollars, or something suitably appropriate.

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Paris Hilton

Not everyone is needy for attention

Shocking, I know.

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Joke

Maybe he stays behind the scenes

because he still can't say "Awec Bahdwin!"

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Anonymous Coward

"which ironically is exactly what American spooks and tech companies are accused of doing."

US Laws mandate that US Telco equipment manufacturers build backdoors into the switches they supply to the US market (by which you can read North American) for "Law Enforcement" purposes.

Those backdoors aren't necessarily left out when the same kit gets supplied overseas.

Which goes someway to explaining why when a shipment of Fixed Line switches from a Tier 2 Eq provider went 'missing' while being sent to an overseas (relative to the US) Telco that the CIA got involved.

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Gold badge

Huawei and Cisco

People in US suppose that Huawei has backdoors as requested by the Chinese government. I point out to them (pre-Snowden even..), Cisco is just as likely to have backdoors as requested by the US government. I actually think it is rather unlikely either one is tampered with, as people have analyzed the behavior of network equipment well enough to know if it was doing something untoward. As a full-function router, however, they can be made to do all kinds of naughty things with your data without any backdoor needed at all. After all, China's "great firewall" runs on standard hardware.

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