Chinese telecom equipment giant, Huawei would like us to pronounce the name as ‘Wah Way’ or ‘Wow Way’. The Bard may have referred to the rose and nomenclature in a different context. He possibly showed the futility of being fixated on one aspect (namely, names), when it was the fragrance (critical trait) that finally mattered. Huawei could have learnt a thing or two. Or maybe, it just could NOT have. After all it is not a private enterprise with the liberty to educate itself. Maybe Huawei’s customers need to feel beyond the fragrance.
Can Thorns Hide ‘Flagrantly’ Behind the Rose’s Fragrance For Long?
Huawei’s attractive (decent technology) and accessible (economically priced) offerings made them captivating roses. The Bard may as well question, why raise a red flag on the country of origin, when it is not about the colour of the flag but the cologne in the fragrance. It was this same logic that would have made British PM Boris Johnson continue with Huawei as a partner in UK’s telecom plans. But unfortunately for Huawei, he has seen the thorns that the rose had been hiding for long.
Beijing’s Boorish Behaviour With Boris
Beijing’s response to UK’s concerns on Hong Kong may have also contributed. Trump has also been nudging Boris for a while. But why did the British PM take time to prove that the British spine, while supple is never servile to Chinese interests.
Remembering History, Avoiding Blair Story
Why did UK take this long? Maybe Boris may have wished to avoid precisely the very thing one of his predecessors is still being ridiculed for. Being laughed at, for being the Office Attendant responding (with alacrity) to the US President’s table bell. Remember President George Bush, Tony Blair and the treasure-hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
Better Late than Never
Whatever the reason for Boris Johnson delaying the decision, it is a huge setback for China and Huawei. Countries like the US and New Zealand have already banned or started banning Chinese vendors like Huawei. The wealth of information stacked against Huawei and/or China’s actions and Laws is considerable. So it seems odd that governments have taken/ are taking time to boycott Huawei and similar vendors.
‘Wah Way’ – A Long Way – Dealership to Leadership
Huawei has come a long way since Ren Zhengfei started the firm 30+ years ago as a dealer of Western telecom brands. Today, with revenues of $ 120 billion (for 2019) and with many patents to its name, Huawei is a fragrant rose with a formidable presence in the Telecom sector. On 5G Technology, especially, Huawei leads with the maximum number of patents. It has also awarded grants and other contributions to leading Universities. It has worked with atleast 80% of the world’s top 50 telecom companies as early as the year 2010.
5G Is Fine, But SPY G is Unsettling
The company may protest to the contrary, but the fact remains that the Chinese Government and the CCP actually control Huawei. A belief has also been created that Huawei is employee owned. But it is just a facade. The company Huawei has no choice but to abide by Beijing. A 2012 article claims that China has a back-door entry to 80% of the world’s communications through the ‘spyware’ it has asked Huawei and ZTE to embed in their equipment.
The company may protest to the contrary, but the fact remains that the Chinese Government and the CCP actually control Huawei. A belief has also been created that Huawei is employee owned. But it is just a facade. The company Huawei has no choice but to abide by Beijing.
Each Bit & Byte at Beijing’s Behest
Not just the ownership. Every bit and byte of data that Huawei has or potentially can have access to, is at the behest of Beijing. There is little doubt among experts that China’s National Intelligence Law from 2017 requires organizations and citizens to “support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work.”(cnbc.com).
The Cup of Woes With Huawei, Runneth Over
It is not just on account of actual or potential espionage that Huawei has run afoul of authorities. Part of the long way that ‘Wah Way’ has traversed is littered with deeds unbecoming of a global leader. Whether it be secretively bypassing sanctions against Iran, helping the Chinese state apparatus in their human rights violations against the Uighyur Muslims, or even stealing of trade secrets, Huawei has been there, done that.
Toe The Line Or Else…
When Australia recently raised the issue of China triggering the Virus pandemic, it felt the heat immediately. Its systems were subjected to malware attacks which originated in China. With 2G/ 3G/ 4G systems, China can cause considerable havoc. Imagine what it can do with the more potent 5G networks!
Hua Bye ( Being Sent Off In ‘Hinglish’)
Can Ren Zhengfei or the organization he founded, defy the diktats of the dragon? It does not seem very likely in the CCP regime. Hence it is difficult to expect Huawei re-claiming its stature in the economies which have boycotted it. Of course, there are countries which might be beholden to Beijing. Like Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka etc, which for various reasons, cannot get out of the Chinese clasp, atleast so soon. For the rest of the progressive world, the writing on the wall seems clear. Huawei, Hua Bye!