Intercultural Communication Center (ICC)Waseda University

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Event Report: Huawei, its global open-innovation-based development and challenges

J.F.(学生スタッフリーダー)

Hello everyone!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the ICC Talk Session, “The Future Written by Huawei.” Here, I want to write about this Talk Session and why I proposed it.

I am from China, and every time I return home, I see more and more people using Huawei products. Not only in China, but I also see Huawei advertisements in Japan, and I have many Japanese friends who use Huawei products. I searched on the Internet and found that Huawei was ranked fifth in Japanese smartphone market share in 2018. I was surprised that Huawei could succeed in the Japanese market since it has famous domestic manufacturers such as Sony and Sharp as well as other overseas companies such as Apple and Samsung. So, I was thinking, why not invite people from Huawei to talk about their success? What was the situation when they first entered Japan? How did they overcome the difficulty of promoting their brand?

The second reason I proposed the event is because of the recent U.S.-China trade friction, which a lot of people may still remember. In May 2019, Huawei had been put on a list called the Entity List. Companies on this list are unable to do business with any organization that operates in the United States without special permission. There are various explanations for this. The Chinese government insisted that the ban of Huawei was an improper action, that the U.S. government banned Huawei to prevent Huawei from becoming the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer. On the other side, the U.S. government accused Huawei of using its products to allow China to spy on other nations. When I first saw the news, I could not judge these two explanations by myself. I didn’t know much about the company and the trade friction because all the information I got was from social media. So, I had the idea of this talk session, which was to invite a person from Huawei to present their position. I thought that this may not be a perfect way to fully understand the situation, but it could help us understand it more.

We invited Mr. Guo Yu, the general manager of the Public & Industrial Relationships department at Huawei Japan. In the talk session, Mr. Guo spoke about the company’s global open-innovation-based development. I got the chance to know the precious marketing strategies from the view of a young, growing company. The most unforgettable part of the talk session for me was a comparison raised by Mr. Guo. During the lecture, Mr. Guo compared his working experience in an American company with that in Huawei. He asserted that it would take much less time to make a similar product in Huawei compared to his previous experience. I personally think that this is also similar to some other Chinese IT companies. They are very open to new techniques and change. What’s more, he also talked about their position towards the trade friction.

There was a comment from a participant, saying “Instead of the conspiracies presented in the news, I was able to simply hear the company’s information, thoughts, growth process, etc.” As planner of the event, I felt very happy when seeing this comment. The reason I held this talk session was not to tell participants what’s correct or incorrect. I wanted more people to hear more voices from different viewpoints. Instead of just watching and accepting what social media says, it is better to hear more kinds of voices and to think for yourself.

Special Thanks

Together with the ICC full-time staff, I started preparing the talk session from the beginning of 2020.  Then the COVID-19 started its spread around the world, and we had to change our plan. Here I want to say thank you to the full-time staff who always supported me and gave me very useful advice. Moreover, I sincerely appreciate Mr. Guo’s understanding and support for the whole event.

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