China’s Competitiveness: Huawei

CSIS and Japan’s 21st Century Public Policy Institute have looked at five Chinese firms (Huawei, Lenovo, Suntech, Shanghai Auto, and China South Locomotive), examining the factors that led to their rise, their current state of competitiveness, and the policy implications. In addition to the case studies, a report was also done on the Chinese industrial policymaking process. The policymaking report serves as a primer on the policymaking process and provides an in depth look at actual cases, including the strategic emerging industries policy development. This project was made possible by generous support from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

Huawei, with offices in 140 countries, is the second-largest telecommunications equipment company in the world by revenue, and is poised to become the largest. Founded in 1988 as a distributor for phone switches, Huawei is now a comprehensive telecommunications company with network equipment, mobile broadband devices, handsets, and convergence devices. In addition to developing products, the company has moved into offering customer solutions. Its founder and current president is Ren Zhengfei, a former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) technical officer who was able to parlay the skills he acquired in the military into laying the groundwork for this successful telecommunications company. Huawei is a private enterprise, ostensibly owned by employees, with Ren directly owning a 1.42 percent stake in the company.

Nathaniel Ahrens