I just got off the telephone with a contact I had made at Huawei a couple of months ago at their Shanghai Advanced Intelligence event. I wanted to get his take on how the new Huawei mobile phone and other new hardware is faring.
It is quite odd that the vision of China, here in the United States, is so different than that of the rest of the world. A few columns ago I had a chat with a colleague in the Netherlands. It was quite enlightening and I received a very good picture of what they think of the United States.
In today’s conversation, I gleaned a similar picture of what China thinks of us. And, it varies depending upon whether one talks with the common population or with their tech leaders.
The average Chinese citizen does not think much of the United States at present. That is no surprise, considering what our leaders have been doing to them. At first, in the tech sector, there was quite a bit of worry about losing the “goose that lays the golden egg” – America. However, as time, and the shock of what was going on passed, it became apparent that the Trump Administration was going to stay the course. More reasonable heads in Congress were not going to prevail for the time being. So, the tech sector in China regrouped, marshalled its resources and forged ahead in the changing landscape.
I have discussed this quite thoroughly in past missives – what Huawei is doing on a global scale. Much to the dismay of the Administration, the call for a global ban on buying Huawei equipment, or even selling components to the company, did not work out anywhere close what it imagined.
More proof of how Huawei is adapting is this new Huawei smartphone, the Mate 30 Pro. My, how quickly Huawei managed to source components from sources other than the United States! And, in the last couple of days, Huawei announced it was going to relocate its Silicon Valley business unit to Canada. More lost jobs and I am willing to bet this hardly gets a casual backwards glance from Trump since he is not a fan of Silicon Valley anyway.
Did the powers-that-be in this country really expect Huawei to just shrivel up and go away? Sure, the United States represented a significant market for Huawei, and China in general – both import and export. However, this sans-American hardware smartphone illustrates just how nimble Huawei is in a global market. This is the second product made using international parts suppliers (the first were new 5G base stations that do not contain components from American suppliers. And, they perform 30 percent faster than those with U.S.-made parts). Have we forgotten how industrious the Pacific Rim can be?
The jury is still out on the software side of smartphones. Huawei is developing its own version of Android. How successful that will be is still up for debate. China seems to think it will not be a big deterrent in most of the world but they admit it might be an issue in western markets. Still, it is likely that Google will be back on track with Huawei in the not too distant future. The wild card is, who will be in office in 2020.
And, even if we have another four years of this administration, there are rumblings that the detrimental effects for another four years might, finally, turn enough Trump bobbleheads away from his destructive policies and undo much of this.
It is a global economy. The present administration seems not to understand that. So far, this “we are the champions” mentality has failed, miserably. It also seems the more White House policies fail, the more irritated, hence retributive, the President becomes.
The sad state is that the longer this lasts, the more distance gets put between the United States and the rest of the world, including long-time friends and allies. And, the more the rest of the world is forced to turn away from the United States, the worse it will be; not only for technology, but for world-wide integration of 5G and other technologies.