The rise of Huawei: from nowhere to dominate the world
The daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver on 1 December and could face extradition to the US. Details of the arrest have not been released but the US has been investigating Huawei over possible violation of sanctions against Iran.
According to Karishma Vaswani, BBC Asia Business Correspondent: “It is hard to overstate the symbolism and significance of this event. Huawei is the crown jewel of Chinese tech and Ms Meng is effectively its princess. Even though it’s still not clear what the charges against her are, this is not simply a case about the arrest of one woman, or just one company.
This arrest could materially damage the relationship between the US and China at possibly one of the most sensitive times between the two countries in their long and torrid history. But this is not our main subject, let´s see some facts behind the giant tech.
At the beginning it had a license as a telecommunications operator. Today it communicates to a third of the world population. The first thing Zhengfeien did was to launch a cell phone model. From then on he did not stop. One cell phone behind the other, always with revolutionary technological innovations.
In its beginnings it occupied the markets of small rural areas and lost towns. But the Chinese government saw that the momentum of that company could be irresistible and supported the company in various areas. Their services were contracted for the construction and development of national infrastructures. The trampoline it needed to take off.
It became known and began to close juicy contracts with companies such as IBM, Vodafone, Telefonica, T-Mobile, Orange and British Telecom (the latter now abandoned it).
Today, Huawei is the third largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world, with three business groups: Carrier, Consumer and Enterprise, which estimate that this year they will add revenues of more than 100 billion dollars.
Huawei is the fourth largest company in the world and the only Chinese company in the top 50 that invests most in Research and Development. That’s the key to the brand: studying innovations permanently.
That led to a record in a country like China: it was the first company in that country to sell more than 100 million cell phones in a year. But the essence of Huawei is how it is formed internally.
Its CEO changes every six months, to show that the company bases its success on collective leadership. And that is clear in that their employees are the owners of the company. The founder, Ren Zhengfeien, only has 1.4% of the shares (with only that package is already the 150th richest person in the Republic of China) and the remaining 98.6% is distributed among its 80,000 employees.
And the results are in sight: the Huawei Mate 10 Pro was selected as the best cell phone of 2017, by Forbes magazine. With a heart that makes it different: the Kirin 970 processor, exclusively owned by the company, the first chip with artificial intelligence. What does it mean? The cell phone learns what we do and adapts its mode of operation, allowing from a more efficient consumption of the battery to recognize images.
According to The Economist, Huawei is the most important company in the world of telecommunications and for external consultants such as Interbrand or Millward Brown Optimor is one of the most valuable brands in the world.