By Jeff J. Brown
Pictured above: I was one of over 100 journalists around the world, who participated in Huawei’s latest White Paper Forum. It is clearly a unique ICT company that is heads above the foreign competition. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
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Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff
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This week, over 50 journalists in Shenzhen and another +50 online attended Huawei’s much anticipated “Protecting IP-Driving Innovation 2021 White Paper Forum”, and on this subject, the first one since 2019. This year, Huawei wanted to focus on its history starting in the 1990s, when it began to make a name for itself in China.
How did they do it? It’s a great story worth telling. Baba Beijing, China’s leadership had massive plans back then to reach as many of the country’s citizens as possible with – at that time 2G-3G – and that meant isolated towns and villages in backwater valleys and on mountaintops. In spite of the Herculean challenges of “going highest and furthest” to reach these areas, Huawei saw a chance to establish a foothold in the national market. Huawei became well-known for breaking down all the base and tower components into manageable chunks, so that they could be delivered anywhere, even if it meant using pack animals, motorbikes – or in the case of Tibet – professional local porters to haul the pieces of equipment many kilometers out and up into the furthest mountains and lost valleys.
Many Huawei employees risked their lives, limbs and good health to make it all happen!
I traveled on the Tibetan Plateau, across some of those remote valleys and mountaintops in 2012, in Ningxia, Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces. It inspired me to write my first book, 44 Days Backpacking in China (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/06/30/praise-for-the-china-trilogy-the-votes-are-in-it-r-o-c-k-s-what-are-you-waiting-for/), where I kept marveling at how extensive the 2G-4G coverage was, even when I felt like the last man on Earth. This is easy to do in Western China, since about 95% of the people live on the 54% of the land, on the Eastern coastal plains and the Yangtze River Valley.
I wrote in 44 Days that it was a dizzying infrastructure feat and visionary national policy, thanks to Baba Beijing, while comparing it to the United States, where vast areas of the country still to this day have no service, because it is unacceptable for the profit-comes-first ICT companies there. Millions of rural citizens are thus deprived of internet access.
Little did I know at the time that all those base stations and towers hanging onto the sides of those mountains were likely thanks to Huawei’s daring, customer-centric vision!
Yet, it is interesting to note that in the Western media, virtually the same headline has been replicated about this all-important IP/Innovation white paper forum,
HUAWEI TO BEGIN CHARGING PHONE MAKERS FOR 5G PATENTS
Once the other news outlets that were there got this meme going across the internet, there was no stopping it: Huawei is coming after your money and making 5G more expensive for you!
Never mind that every company with marketable patents usually charges licensing fees for their use, nor the fact that in this case, it is up to a maximum of $2.50 for $300-$1,000 Apple or Samsung smartphones, which surely cannot be considered greedy. Chinese phone makers will not be spared the same fees.
Not to mention that Huawei’s patent fees are miniscule compared to its overall revenue, just $1.3 billion out of $136.7 billion for 2020, meaning one percent. This was not articulated much in the mainstream media. They want to project the Big Lie Propaganda Machine (BLPM) fake news that the West has crushed evil Huawei and rightfully so, thus, now the latter is desperately trying to hang on for dear life by feeding off you and its patents.
There is no stopping Huawei. Need I mention China in general?
The featured guest of the forum was Mr. Francis Gurry, former Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). During his informative presentation, he stated,
In releasing its license fee structure for 5G standard essential patents (SEPs), Huawei is promoting the widespread adoption and use of standards designed to ensure interoperability, reliability and transparent competition, while at the same time providing a fair return for investment in R&D.
Given that Mr. Gurry and WIPO represent the interests of all patent players equally, North, South, East and West, that is saying a lot. He made a number of other observations about Huawei’s global leadership in IP protection, collaboration, FRAND (fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory terms) and patent development. Huawei reps at the forum talked about how the United States is attacking the company and using fake news propaganda to try (obviously unsuccessfully) to destroy it and they talked about their long-standing policy of openness and inclusion.
Huawei is continuing to expand its outreach to the West. Last year they started their global Top Talent Project, identifying the best and the brightest to work in R&D. You or someone you know is motivated and wants to help make the world a better place for everyone? Huawei is taking CVs (https://www.huawei.com/ch-en/careers) and you don’t have to be brainiac for most positions. I know several people, from first-timers to top management in China and Europe, including foreigners, and they love the opportunities and challenges at Huawei.
Front gate of Huawei’s new Lagrange Center in Paris.
In fact, Huawei just opened its fabulous (Joseph-Louis) Lagrange Center in Paris, to add to its five others in France, doing applied and basic research across math, computation, chip sets, design, standards, wireless communications, artificial intelligence, image processing and sensors. They opened their first one in-country in 2013, thus their commitment to the West is clearly long range. France is a great place to be, since it produces top-flight STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) graduates and researchers, and for international invitees, France is a wonderful place to live and work.
Here is what Huawei said about the Lagrange Center, when it opened October 2020,
The atrium into the Lagrange Center. Nice digs, huh?
Lagrange Center is a platform open to all mathematicians around the world to conduct research, which allows us to go beyond the limits, and its results will benefit our entire industry. The new center will bring together some 30 scientists, including around 10 from abroad, whose work will be shared with the academic world and the scientific community.
Seminars will be regularly organized in collaboration with research partners, such as the Institute of High Scientific Studies and the Ecole Normale Superieure (in France) as well as other renowned international institutions.
Ultimately, Lagrange Center aims to become an independent foundation headed by a scientific council. Concerned with promoting freedom and academic excellence, we hope to see this center evolve into a real foundation. Its objective will be to push back the fundamental limits of research by supporting breakthrough scientific and technological innovations. This is necessary if we want to make significant progress, particularly in the field of artificial intelligence (https://www.parisguardian.com/news/266644572/huawei-opens-research-center-in-paris).
The Lagrange Center offers a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower.
Read carefully: Huawei just spent €200 million to open this magnificent research center in the heart of Paris and announced that they want to turn it into an independent foundation and scientific council. Does this sound like the three-headed monster that only wants your smartphone money, and the boogey man that the West’s BLPM relentlessly promotes?
Huawei’s corporate culture is all about collaboration and win-win. Furthermore, it can afford to be magnanimous, since it is reaping the benefits of spending 10-15% of its revenues on R&D. Incredibly, 53% of its employees work in research and development, 30% of those in basic research and the balance in applied, customer-centric fields. As a result of a generation of hard work and devotion to this vision, Huawei today has over 100,000 active patents in 40,000 different patent families across the globe, and is continuing to outpace its nearest competitor, Samsung, by 2-to-1 in new applications.
I ask you,
Is it any wonder that Huawei has over 100 patent and cross-licensing agreements in the US, EU, Japan and Korea?
Could these companies even be competitive and survive without Huawei?
How much more expensive would your smart phone and 3G-5G wireless services be without Huawei?
Nokia, like almost all Western companies, considers its employees as a cost liability first, is thus axing 10,000 jobs to increase profitability (https://www.lightreading.com/5g/nokia-will-cut-up-to-10000-more-jobs-after-huawei-gains-16000/d/d-id/768094).
This while Huawei is adding 16,000 new positions! I have read Huawei’s charter and one of the first things it says is that its employees are its most important, most valuable business asset. What a difference in corporate culture and long-term vision, compared to the capitalist West, but this is true for many Chinese companies, not just Huawei.
Furthermore, this above article just cited tells you all you need to know about the West’s deep-seated racism against the Chinese people, a fear and loathing that go back centuries (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/01/06/slavs-and-the-yellow-peril-are-niggers-brutes-and-beasts-in-the-eyes-of-western-empire-china-rising-radio-sinoland/) and which I fully explain in The China Trilogy (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/06/30/praise-for-the-china-trilogy-the-votes-are-in-it-r-o-c-k-s-what-are-you-waiting-for/). The article says (emphasis mine),
Last year, (at Huawei) there were 105,000 (employees) in R&D and fewer than 92,000 elsewhere. Huawei’s critics will continue to question the veracity of its statements as a Chinese company and wonder how its margins can remain healthy after such a recruitment frenzy.
What he is really saying is,
The Yellow Peril can’t be trusted. You know how sneaky and dishonest they are.
I know it’s revolting to read, but I’ll tell you how Huawei does it.
Western executives, officers and board members are accustomed to multi-million euro/dollar, golden parachute compensation packages. Huawei is the world’s largest employee-owned company, where even top salaries are measured in hundreds of thousands of euros/dollars, not millions. Jeff Bezos owns 16% of Amazon and Mark Zuckerberg 29% of Facebook. Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei owns a mere 1.2% of the company, making available billions more to invest in R&D and the customers.
With Huawei employees being the owners, they don’t have to prioritize preferred, A-share stockholders, corporate bondholders, hedge funds, nor pander to the 24-hour propaganda cycle. Huawei can focus on R&D and customer-centric products and services.
A look at the bigger picture and what it means for your future
In closing, the tides of history are inescapable, even today. The West has had an obscenely profitable, self-serving run the last 500 years of exploitive colonialism, extractive imperialism and winner-take-all, smash-and-grab global capitalism. That all started to change in 1917 in Russia and then especially in 1949, when the Chinese people – one-fourth of humanity – liberated themselves from all that genocidal terrorism. It has taken 100 years to slowly coalesce, but a new multipolar world, with win-win business practices and mutually beneficial cooperation for the global 99% is starting to take shape.
Huawei, China and many other entities are at the vanguard of this shared vision of openness and inclusion for all of humankind. It is truly unfortunate for Planet Earth that Eurangloland’s leaders (NATO/Five Eyes/EU/Israel) are still living in the 19th century, with their nauseatingly predictable, might-is-right, me-or-you, reptilian brain “Great Power” game plans. Uber-establishment Foreign Policy magazine admits as much: China is bigger, better, faster, cheaper, and the only way for America to win is to destroy it (https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/03/11/america-chinas-regime-fails/),
Instead, let’s envision a world where this new multipolar paradigm reigns supreme. It is not just about faster 5G and lower ICT costs. It’s about a more peaceful, harmonious, collaborative world for everyone – East, West, North and South.
You and I are already there. Huawei is there, as are many others. For now, we can only inform and explain, while practicing the Confucist-Daoist-Buddhist virtue of eternal patience. The Big Wheel of Life keeps on turning.
It will continue to get better!
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