By Ding Gang Source: Global Times Published: 2018-12-19
The success of Chinese telecom giant Huawei is an epitome of China's 40 years of reform and opening-up, without which the company wouldn't be what it is today. This is something we should be mindful of when the company is in the crosshairs of the US and some of its allies.
Why has Huawei grown to be such a strong competitor in fields long dominated by Western enterprises in the last 40 years? The reason is that reform and opening-up created Huawei and enabled it to go global, with enhanced competitiveness in a more open world.
If Huawei were nurtured in an increasingly secluded environment, it wouldn't have had so many achievements to its credit.
Huawei's products are not only being used in developed countries, but have also reached the remote villages of Bangladesh, the Andes and African deserts where the first smart phone used by people is Huawei. The base stations in many poor developing countries have also been built by Huawei employees against all odds.
Whenever an air crash take place in any part of the world, company employees worry about their colleagues because more than 1,000 Huawei employees every day undertake business trips by air.
In 1998, the company adjusted its development strategy of matching the global trend and serving China's telecom industry. It started cooperating with telecom companies all over the world.
In the same year, Huawei earmarked half of its annual profits for studying Western management institutions.
In 2001, Chinese telecom companies were reorganized and Huawei sales declined. Facing barriers from within the country, Huawei began eyeing the overseas market. In over 10 years, the company has worked with foreign firms to make inroads into the global telecom market and strived to develop the 5G network standard.
In a statement on the arrest of its CFO Meng Wanzhou, Huawei made it clear that it will continue having proactive cooperation with its 13,000 global suppliers.
Huawei has gone global with a bold and open-minded spirit and benefited from a globalized world. This is where Huawei's biggest strength lies, something that its competitors fear. The US and its allies started targeting Huawei in a bid to force other companies to decouple with the company and squeeze Huwaei out of the global high-tech industry chain, kicking it back into a closed environment. Actually, the US is trying to force Chinese high-tech companies out of the international market. It is a challenge not only for Huawei but for China's entire high-tech industry to stand against moves to squeeze them back into the limits of their domestic space.
The US' intentions of limiting the market footprint of Chinese enterprises will not succeed. A key consideration for Chinese companies is how to move forward despite the challenges. We need to be self-reliant and expand cooperation with the world while opening our market wider.
Not only are Chinese companies like Huawei able to compete in the global space and gain muscle, they are also capable of taking on foreign firms in the Chinese market. It is only in a more open environment that Chinese high-tech companies can become stronger and more confident. What we can do is to open wider to create the next benchmark for China's high-tech development.
The author is a senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.