By Jeff J. Brown
Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff
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This is the third book I’ve read about Huawei. The previous two being,
Jeff J. Brown reviews, “Huawei Stories: Pioneers”, by Tian Tao and Yin Zhifeng… After reading this book, is it any wonder that Huawei is the global leader in ICT? China Rising Radio Sinoland 210423
Book Review of “Visionaries”. What company in its right mind would divulge all its financial and accounting problems, and how they were fixed? That would be Huawei. China Rising Radio Sinoland 220509
Book reviews are known to be dry and egg-headed, but interest among China Rising Radio Sinoland fans about Huawei is clearly evident. To date, these two previous reviews have had almost 41,000 visitors and the numbers keep going up. Do tomes in the New York Review of Books get this many viewers? I’m not so sure. Interest in Huawei’s amazing story is due to the fact that it is Planet Earth’s biggest employee-owned corporation and how, 20 years ago it stormed onto the global high-tech scene, to become the competition to beat. Thereafter, we continue to see Eurangloland’s pathetic, imperial answer to that challenge, by trying to crush and destroy Huawei.
To show how much interest there is in Huawei in general, in spite every effort by the West’s Big Lie Propaganda Machine to demonize and suppress it, I just verified that in the last two years, over 500,000 visitors have accessed my Huawei-related posts. A half a million people is star power my dear friends! Check them out for yourselves,
Once I realized that Huawei is the perfect allegory for the titanic geopolitical struggle between China and the West, I started and maintain a bilingual Huawei online library,
It is funny how things work out. These first two books were given to me by my younger daughter, who graduated from Beijing Normal University, with a BS in Human Resources (HR). Her first job? She worked six months with Huawei HR in Dusseldorf, Germany and another half-year in Paris, at their Joseph-Louis Laplace Mathematics Research Center, which I got to visit (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2021/03/20/invited-to-huaweis-protecting-ip-driving-innovation-2021-white-paper-forum-here-is-my-analysis-and-what-you-need-to-know-for-your-ict-information-communication/). Did she segue into Paris’ HR? Nooooo… This is Huawei, silly! A 24-year-old newbie was asked to be the administration manager of this center, plus another one in Paris doing software coding R&D (research and development), yet she had zero prior experience in this field! Two multi-million-euro, super-high-tech, world-class research centers and they were now hers to manage…
Having read these first two books and now this third one, “Spirit”, I know this is vintage Huawei: challenge young, trusted employees to take on new, totally unrelated missions – baptism by fire on the job – to figure it out themselves. Why? Because yes, bad things can happen, but they do not outweigh the amazing discoveries and innovations that develop. Thousands of Huawei youngsters have helped rewrite internal departmental and division manuals and in the early days, crawling across cracked glass learning from the ground up, they wrote the first manuals themselves!
While doing so, my daughter gained a strong interest in what these research centers were doing and decided to get her Master’s degree in a highly sought-after sector: business data analytics. She informed Huawei of her dream and they fully supported her plans. This last September, she started her MS in one of the world’s top five business data analytic programs, a combo curriculum with ESSEC (business) and CentraleSupÉlec (engineering), both in Paris. We told her she was carrying on a family legacy. My father-in-law graduated from SupÉlec and his father from Centrale – two of 20th century’s top tech schools – before they merged. Both men were very successful engineers in their lifetimes (materials and hydroelectric dams, respectively). She is very proud of this fact, and we are of her.
And it just so happens that the book “Spirit” is all about that: AI (artificial intelligence), big data, algorithms, software coding and the hardware that uses it all. Like the first two books, Huawei in very forthcoming about “hanging out their dirty laundry”, with many, sometimes very costly mistakes, the mismanagement and bad timing they experienced over the years. They are not afraid to let us laugh, cry and commiserate with them, as they exploded onto the global high-tech scene and mushroomed into the biggest, fastest, cheapest and best world-beating ICT (Information and Communication Technology) behemoth.
The preface to “Pioneers” was written by the editors, Tian Tao and Yin Zhifeng. It was interesting to see that Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, the now well-known CFO (chief financial officer), who was kidnapped by the USA and held under house arrest for three years in Canada, wrote the preface for the finance- and accounting-related “Visionaries”. Raising the profile to its highest possible level, the founder and longtime CEO of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei wrote the foreword for today’s “Spirit”.
Ren is well-known for touting Chairman Mao Zedong as his mentor, and he often broadcasts across the company the Great Helmsman’s speeches, writing, poems and quotes, to fire up the troops and challenge them to think in different ways (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2020/05/14/ren-zhengfei-founder-of-huawei-says-my-mentor-is-chairman-mao-zedong-im-not-surprised-are-you-china-rising-radio-sinoland-200515/). When Ren speaks or writes, people in and out of the company pay close attention, for good reason.
Ren’s foreword is not even two pages long and is an excerpt from a 2018 sharing session of Huawei’s Management Team Meeting. Entitled, “Attracting Huge Numbers of Geniuses”. He starts out by saying as long as the company is the best in the world, its standards will be followed by others. How to keep being #1 and setting global standards? Geniuses are the trick,
What is a genius? A genius is someone who make breakthroughs in a specific domain. We must remember that a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none… We must attract a huge number of geniuses… International computer competitions around the world produce only 40 gold medal winners each year, and we should recruit all of them. However, the 400 contestants who make it into the finals of the competitions are also very talented. Therefore, I think we can hire all of them, even if they have not won the top prizes.
Ren is famous for his philosophical, humanitarian aphorism,
We can absorb the energy of the universe over a cup of coffee.
Citing the life and learning of Greek philosopher Socrates, Ren touts the amazing benefits of meeting different people within and without one’s expertise, above and below in rank to share ideas, to think outside the box and with no ill will, freely criticize points or suggestions offered. To show his sincerity in his ideas, Ren stated,
For anyone who successfully brings geniuses to Huawei, I will personally invite them out for a coffee.
Need a reason to know why Huawei is bigger, better, faster and cheaper than all the rest? Here are Ren Zhengfei’s closing comments to his 200,000 invested employees,
I believe our company will be completely different in three to five years, and that we will have everything we need to succeed. Who should we rely on to make this a reality? Our geniuses.
With geniuses joining Huawei in large numbers, there will be no challenge we cannot overcome. We invest everything in the future and have the courage to expand, and this attracts many geniuses to join us. If Huawei can serve as a “string” that ties together the “pearls” – geniuses – around the world to make a “necklace”, we will become world leader.
Genius or not, who wouldn’t want to work for a visionary leader like that? I know I would.
In Chapter One, we meet an apparent genius in the making, Ye Huihui, who had been working in Côte d’Ivoire, in West Africa. A friend at Huawei worked overtime to recruit him and even confessed he would receive a ¥6,000 (about US$1,000) bonus if he came on board.
This 24-year-old (sound familiar?), having only one month with Huawei, gets sent to the very remote, very poor Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Madagascar. I know how poor the place is. When we were living in Beijing in a local, low-rent apartment complex, our neighbors were the Comorian ambassador and his family. I guess their ministry of foreign affairs got them there, where they were left to fend for themselves. Charming and persuasive, they were offering as “gifts” tiny bottles of essential oil from the country’s national flower, redolent ylang-ylang, with a subtle plea for financial support. They were even taking food donations. We paid ¥1,000 (about US$160) for about 15 milliliters of the stuff and lightened our pantry. Alas, our hearts were in the right place.
So, imagine being stationed in their country. Ye’s story is not Hollywood-esque, nevertheless, his dedication to the cause of providing wireless service to its 900,000 citizens, scattered across 22 islands is heartfelt and sincere; they only want to be connected among themselves and to the rest of the world. Thanks to Ye’s years of tireless devotion to the people’s dreams of a wireless community, Comoros became the first Indian Ocean country with 4.5G service.
Much of the rest of “Spirit” dives deep into the world of high-tech R&D, as we experience their many pitfalls, near misses and eventual successes gained, several being world-firsts.
In “Visionaries”, we learned how finance and accounting painstakingly developed a massive, global, integrated reporting and analysis platform, in real time. “Three Big Screens”, by Huo Yao goes further into this level of jaw dropping technology. Huawei developed its first big screen in 2016, in the Global Technical Services (GTS) Department. It can drill down to individual contracts and projects (delivery, supply and services) across the planet, using analysis systems that can all be presented on their monster-sized video screen, 24/7 in real time.
How big is it? A whopping 86 meters long and 7.2 meters high! It fuses together three hundred 80-inch LED screens. Its room is bigger than a football field and with charts, graphs, ledgers, documents and images splashed along its breadth and height, you can imagine what a dazzling, futuristic, science fiction ambiance it offers.
Then-CEO Ren Zhengfei was so excited when he saw GTS’s gargantuan display, that he immediately wanted one installed for finance, back in their Shenzhen, China headquarters.
Once decided, CFO Meng stipulated that their big screen must be, 1) in real time, 2) should support immediate, transmittable action with the touch of key and 3) it should be holistic, allowing real time collaboration between multiple regions. In reality, it would more of a command center than a screen and would be one of the first of its kind on Earth.
You can take it to the bank, pardon the pun, that it was developed, only needing to be seven meters wide and two meters tall, compared to the aforementioned GTS leviathan. When the sun sets in Shenzhen, the Argentine finance center takes over, so it is going 24/7. It charts 170 countries and regions, 200 subsidiaries, which are kept track of by 2,000 finance staff members in seven different departments, balancing 20,000 business reports, 9,000 financial and 10,000 incentive reports at the end of each month, in just five days!
Flush with the success of these first two big screens, the next need was for inter-company transactions, among all those 200 subsidiaries. It was estimated that there were over 2,500 transaction pathways. How to put them on big screen?
At first thinking that it would simply look like an airline routing map, it turned out to be much more. If Subsidiary A in Country B sold some products to Subsidiary C in Country D, they realized that in just one transaction, there might be 10-15 sub-transactions. How to keep all this separate and clear?
While not within the scope of this review to go into any details, 2012 Laboratories, a Huawei research center (like where my daughter worked in Paris) was asked to help, and this inspired the idea to use Bezier curves, instead of straight lines. Presto! Now, holding your cursor over a transaction line and up pops beautifully curved connections to show all the sub-transactions.
The idea was so paradigm-shifting that Huawei got a patent on it.
I will leave it to you to read the stirring background story that inspired these Huawei geniuses to create these almost extraterrestrial big screens. They were motivated by the Chinese blockbuster movie, My Country, My People. It showed the power of collaboration with engineer Lin Zhiyuan, who had very little time to build an electric flagpole for China’s liberation celebration on 1 October 1949. More big screen stories follow: one in London, another in the treasury department (like finance, getting its big screen onto laptops), and DMax, which Huawei developed and is now another – ho hum – patented global standard.
Today, Huawei has a number of big screens, with many of them accessible online for employees’ laptops.
Hong Yuping wrote about the curse of heat, when building integrated circuits. So important is this problem that Huawei has a room in Shenzhen that is 400 square meters in size, chockablock full of equipment, called the Thermal Laboratory.
In 1999, no one was doing much in heat dissipation basic research. As equipment, towers, phones, laptops, microchips and all their other hardware got faster and smaller, overheating become a major focus for product roll-outs. This chapter, “Cool Technologies for Heat”, has some wonderful stories about absorbing the energy of the universe over many cups of coffee, unexpected collaboration, including with an international engineer named Vadim; gazing into the structure of redwood tree leaves for inspiration to create bio-metric designed equipment, and many more fascinating anecdotes. In one case they worked tirelessly on a cutting-edge heat dissipation system for two years, only for it to not be acceptable, because innovations in size and speed kept outpacing them every step of the way.
Hong likens his work to elite sprinters shaving 0.01 seconds off the 100-meter dash. It takes years of dedication, discipline and overcoming many defeats to get there. The Thermal Laboratory reached out across the planet for ideas and inspiration to achieve success, driven by Ren Zhengfei’s observation,
We should gaze out at the starry sky and make friends around the world. The more friends we have, the brighter our prospects will be.
As a result, Huawei has become a model of cooperation between business and academia across the planet.
Hu Banghong’s chapter takes us into “The ‘Tiger Cubs’ of Structural Materials”. A Singaporean who once worked for a Fortune 500 company, he joined Huawei and helped advance an amplified version of Ren Zhengfei’s maxim,
Absorb the energy of the universe over a cup of coffee, and take a bucket of glue to stick the world’s best brains together.
He took over managing a team of, you guessed it – a dozen or so young, inexperienced structural engineers – whom he called his Tiger Cubs. Material science and engineering are maybe even more challenging than heat dissipation. Temperature+humidity fluctuations, pressure, tensile strength, brittleness, corrosion, weight, hardness, texture, volume and many other factors come into play.
They developed into to a cohesive force, so much so that they created new alloys, naming them after the initials of the team members who were involved, such as XF and MW.
There are some great stories in this chapter, but for us consumers, the development of the scratch-proof phone screen is most exciting. Huawei was the first to bring the sapphire glass phone screen to market, stunning the global public and competitors alike.
Today, Hu’s team is 40-strong, half of whom are PhDs. They have created nearly 100 patents and as a result, Huawei has more than 20 major technological partnerships with leading industry players.
Yang Haibin’s “Warming the Hearts of Cold Optical Fibers” shows the challenges of miniaturization in cable systems and boards. Smaller boards, finer fibers, while pushing greater and greater “ones and zeros” (data) across the planet. How to keep up?
Yang and his colleagues learned a lot by connecting boards and cables together by hand. They also imagined millipedes, hair combs, figure eights, loop-de-loops, along with buckets of sweat. A science program on TV gave him the idea of using microscopes to wire boards. Many thousands of failed tests on hundreds of different pieces of equipment using fiber gives you an idea of what persistence and patience mean in real life. These days, the buzz word “grit”.
Yang and his team help keep Huawei at the forefront of ICT across the planet. When I was living in Shenzhen, I regularly saw technicians installing gigantic spools of fiber cable, over and over again in the same long underground tunnels below the streets, for the citizens to have maximum bandwidth. I suspect Huawei was involved in at least some of those contracts.
The spirit of Huawei is well-expressed in Yang’s closing paragraph,
It is hard to believe that I’ve worked at Huawei for 19 years. The company has been an integral part of my youth, my ambitions and my hard work. Looking to the future, I hope Huawei will remain part of my life. No complaints, no regrets!
“Keep Trying Until You Succeed” was written by a threesome, Chen Shuai, Xu Chaofei and Zhu Jinwei. Here we get into the exciting world of AI. All young and inexperienced, they took courage from school advisors telling them,
Young people are like small boats that continually go adventuring on oceans. You can choose from limitless directions, which means countless possibilities. You have what it takes to go through trial and error, and you just need to go out and try. This can enrich both your experience and knowledge.
Which is what Chen did. He, along with another newbie, were thrown into the up and coming, cutting edge AI department, knowing almost squat on the subject. Being true to Huawei’s modus operandi, they were charged with developing algorithms for the camera going into the (then) highly anticipated Huawei Mate 10 phone. They were expected to make the camera perform functions that had never been seen on the global market before, especially creating clear, crisp telephoto shots, quickly focusing at high magnifications.
The chapter title tells you everything about the amazing, failure-filled journey they went through, as they were literally learning on the job and living Ren Zhengfei’s coffee metaphor, looking for ideas,
The ember of hope that we managed to bring to life was extinguished… Whenever you think you have reached a dead end, fate makes you believe that you could turn a corner.
Under tremendous launch date pressure, they were able to pull it off. When Mate 10 hit the market, it had the best camera specs at the time, and they kept pushing the envelope with the P20-P50 series to remain the industry leader.
The journey to success does not always make a stirring tale. Often, it’s simply about thinking harder and trying harder. As long as we persevere, hard work always pays off.
Xu had a similar experience, but with computer coding and his degree and experience were in chemistry. He took heart to the challenge,
All disciplines are actually interconnected in one way or another… In reality, the boundaries between different disciplines have been broken down.
I really enjoyed Zhu’s story, since I recognized many of the concepts and systems in my daughter’s Master’s program, as I follow her progress,
There are two directions in mathematics: one is from simple to complex, while the other is from complex to simple.
Making complex things simple is the way forward. Mathematical modeling can do just that.
The wonder of mathematics also lies in the fact that it exists everywhere around us.
Mathematics to code. Code to software, to programs and applications. Applications to hardware and systems, to market.
Jiang Xiaoyi headed up, “PhD Corps: Cracking the Toughest Nuts”. The title confirms some of those geniuses whom Ren Zhengfei dreams of,
Each PhD is like a “chisel”, capable of carving a new path. Can you imagine the power of a team comprising dozens of PhDs? When there is a clear way forward, the team heads in that direction with enthusiasm. When there is no clear path, they do everything they can to create a new one, even through the hardest rock.
The head of the Shanghai team, Dr. Bi Xiaoyan says,
We crave challenges. The whole team moves quickly while maintaining composure. We dare to align our goals with the best in the industry and never accept second best.
These brains work hard too,
You could see the bags under the young man’s eyes.
“Why do you work so hard”?
“I just want to find the best solution”.
The result was a revolutionary system called a non-uniform codebook.
The Beijing team succeeds with lively, honest and sometimes very heated and forceful debate, arguing different technology ideas or proposals. The main rules are 1) objections are always welcome, as they can drive improvement and 2) never enter into ad hominem attacks, sticking to arguing for what is best. Another key to success with this team is trust. This level of meritocracy of ideas needs absolute mutual confidence.
The result has been that this PhD team has developed a number of Huawei patents in the area of reference signaling, helping the company set international standards for 3G, 4G and 5G.
The Chengdu PhD team is young, inexperienced and fearless, working on high frequency 5G. They pride themselves to have the courage to face challenges head-on and keep pushing,
We are like Super Mario, we work tirelessly and are undaunted by hardship.
Throw in a deep sense of curiosity and this group has also launched Huawei into the global arena to set international communication standards.
Passion tops the list too,
They all say they have had their moments of hesitation and frustration along the way, but whenever they achieve a goal, they feel an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement. In these moments, they see that the late nights, the tears, the detours and setbacks were not for nothing.
The title of Deng Song’s chapter says it all, “A Mobile Network on a Wooden Pole”. Ghana needed 4G mobile connections across large areas, sparsely populated between villages that dotted the landscape to the horizon. What to do, without making the national grid too expensive to be feasible?
Huawei looked into 100-meter-tall towers, tethered balloons 500-800 meters above ground and adding an extra shell on the back of everyone’s phones for increased reception. All proved to be impractical and too expensive.
A 1,000km tour of ten sites to talk to villagers gave them the spark to use “wireless backhaul”, which made it possible to go with simple poles, instead of more costly, energy hungry base stations. With many wooden pole receivers, they could replace diesel generators for solar panels, and together solve the population+power supply+transmission conundrum. Huawei dubbed it RuralStar. Nobody else in the world had anything like it. RuralStar has now gone global, to all of Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and back home in China.
Deng’s chapter closes out with this well-known idiom, which Mao Zedong used to great effect,
A single spark can start a bushfire.
Liu Wenjie wrote the chapter, “Continuously Transforming to Make the Best Software”. I learned a lot about the challenges of constantly having to update and innovate new software code, to keep up with never-ending changes in hardware and applications (do you remember your first 2G mobile phone way back when?).
I love Liu’s observation that,
Optimizing software architecture during the (product) delivery process could be compared to changing a plane’s engine while it was in the air. This inevitably affected our development speed.
No software means no hardware to sell, so his unit was under incessant pressure from the product line, which was under intense pressure from the marketing and sales teams. The software unit could opt to do just enough to meet new products’ needs, but this only kicks the can down the computer code road, so to speak, as it will be buggy and quickly outdated. Or, taking the time to do a bang-up job, so there is not all that pent up misery around the corner, but this delays roll-outs.
The team decided to have it both ways, by using closed-door development, leaving their mobile phones outside and if need be, spend one week nonstop at high-quality coding, while sleeping on the floor at the office.
It was a Herculean, marathon effort, but it worked. As of result of putting quality coding over speed to achieve long-term product stability, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei sent out a 2019 letter to all 200,000 employees entitled, “Comprehensively Enhancing Software Engineering Capabilities and Practices to Build Trustworthy, Quality Products”. In it, Ren said,
We will begin with the fundamental quality of our code. Coding quality should be viewed as part of our personal honor and reputation.
If you are curious about logistics, Ren Tianzhu’s chapter, “The Magical World of Warehouses” is right up your alley. There are many interesting stories of how Huawei improved the logistics, delivery, turnaround and storage of its thousands of products and components around the world. To get different departments to buy into all the changes, Ren would have to prove it, by showing performance data.
Sometimes it meant learning on the job, reading books like, “Getting Started with Python” (a super-turbocharged Excel program, which my daughter is learning for her Master’s) and even the basics with, “A Collection of Excel Skills” and “Introduction to Statistical Analysis”. It is never too late to get oneself educated, to reach success.
“A World of Zeros and Ones”, by Bai Sijian is another wonderful chapter on the realm of computer coding. It gets into the guts of code development, which must constantly be checked via a three-step process: coding standards, collective review and code smell.
Within this group is an elite Geek Squad, where the toughest issues are checked. If these brainiacs solve an especially challenging Gordian knot, they can “win some geek swag”.
Given how important it is for Huawei to sign off on all code before it is used, Bai said,
Trustworthiness is not something that we can simply attain overnight. And it cannot be won through the brilliance of any individual. Instead, it is the result of concerted efforts. Once our work to achieve trustworthiness begins, the sustained support of the company becomes more important than ever… First, trust is the biggest incentive for anyone. The simple phrase, “I believe in you!” is more powerful than any poetic praise. It is the foundation of any strong team. Rather than hedging your team members in, why not let them go out and try? There is no need to fear unknown risks or daunting challenges. As long as your team is committed, then bit by bit, step by step, you’ll get there. Second, every team member is equal, and everyone has the right to be heard. Don’t make the team’s work a space for asserting technical authority. Excessive reliance on authority does nothing for teams or individuals.
Great recommendations for coders. Great ideas for any group or workplace.
“Midge Tornadoes”, by Xu Haiming is about his work in Malawi, in Southern Africa. It changed his life forever and is a wonderful, anecdotal tale of adaptation, creativity and tireless perseverance. My ten years in Africa changed my life forever, so I can really relate to Xu’s adventures. His team made the goal of,
To deliver or go down trying.
Spoiler alert: they succeeded.
Jeffrey Gao’s “Transmission at the Speed of Light” starts out with a quote from Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, when he dropped by his lab,
Lucent is the industry leader. How does your equipment you are making measure up to theirs?
With a challenge like that, you can enjoy this chapter even more, which is all about transmitting the most data, as fast as possible. Gao works with a R&D team to do just that.
A repeated theme at Huawei is mutual trust and no BS or flattery,
We were always 100% direct with each other, saying exactly what we thought. That way, all the different possibilities and attendant risks could be worked out. It was a good way to minimize the chances of making a big mistake.
Team commitment was a common endeavor,
During this period, none of us went home at all. We laid down mats on the floor of our factory in Shenzhen and lived there for two weeks.
There are several “Huawei-was-first” developments, reaching the 40G bandwidth and then blowing away the competition with 100G, while delivering transmission solutions to over 80 of the world’s top 100 operators and becoming the planet’s most trusted transmission network provider.
Did I say bigger, better, faster and cheaper? The West’s only answer is to demonize Huawei and spend tens of billions of dollars and euros ripping out the world’s best gear. Sad, sad, sad.
Xiong Ying wrote the chapter, “Lightning Chasers”, an entertaining story about the challenges of making ICT gear lightning-bolt-proof. It shows in spades how departments in Huawei don’t just accept new ideas blindly. They have to be convinced with proof and data, before adopting them. It’s called accountability.
Renato Lombardi is the only non-Chinese to contribute a chapter, “Huawei Built Me a Research Lab”. This story shows how Huawei is always ready to reach out across the world for the best talent, thanks to founder Ren Zhengfei’s cup of coffee. It also shows how Huawei works across time zones, here between Italy and China.
The last chapter covered in this review is, “From Luck to Skill: The Story of the Mate Series”, by Li Xiaolong. Since most of us have a smartphone, this account is really fun and entertaining. What is so interesting is how Huawei decided to jump into the retail phone market and the first Mate models were commercial failures. It wasn’t until Mate 7 was rolled out that Huawei smart phones became Samsung’s and Apple’s biggest threat. Mate 7 had some industry-first features, like fingerprint scanning to unlock the phone, Huawei’s new super-fast Kirin 920 chipset and a large screen, all which increased production costs.
At the time, Mate 7 was the most expensive phone ever sold in China, and there were many detractors just waiting for the next big Huawei smartphone belly flop. Instead, the pricier features paid off. Soon, Huawei couldn’t produce enough Mate 7s to keep up with demand. Next, Mate 9 and 10 and the rest is history: the P20 to P50 series touts some of the industry’s most celebrated and successful smartphones (I have a P30 Pro and my wife has a P40 Pro).
That is, until the United States crushed Huawei’s global phone business with crippling sanctions, trade bans and blockades. The West simply cannot compete with China Tech on a fair, level playing field, so it resorts to gangsterism, sabotage and extortion to “make things right”.
The remaining five chapters are taken from the previously reviewed book, “Pioneers”, which are wonderfully inspiring stories of adventure, individual sacrifice, failure, grit and eventual success. I suspect that wanting to keep the Huawei book series at about 300 pages each, these were added to reach that goal.
In closing, visionary leadership, Mao Zedong Thought, youth, inexperience, patience, risk-taking, total commitment, trust; mutually supporting, frank and open criticism of each other’s ideas and proposals, are all common themes in these first three Huawei books that I have reviewed.
There is much in all three to inspire us at home, work and play. For Huawei’s competitors around the world, the question must be asked,
How do we beat bigger, better, faster and cheaper?
Sharing these books with all their employees, instead of committing geopolitical thuggery and criminality might be a good place to start.
Note: all of Huawei’s books can be found directly from the publisher below, in ebook or print form. To write book reviews, I prefer print, so I can take notes. To save on postage from the UK, I also bought the last two, “Adventurers” and “Explorers”; I will read them with great pleasure and write reviews for you,
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Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History
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