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Is the Company’s “Long March” Nearing its End?
It looks like the Chinese telecom giant Huawei might make its oft-delayed entrance to the US market, after what Forbes calls the company’s “Long March”:
For years, the Chinese networking and telecom vendor’s attempt to expand its U.S. presence has been held back in part by security worries stemming from its murky association with the Chinese government. But now, the Shenzhen-based company is said to have won a major U.S. deal: a contract to build the network infrastructure for a cellphone service that Cox Communications plans to launch later this year. Huawei is also a contender to build Clearwire’s 4G network.
I’m keeping a close eye on this story, since making big deals in the US is never an easy task for Chinese multinationals — also, Recent chatter from Britain indicates that British authorities have serious concerns about allowing Huawei to install telecom infrastructure. As the Times points out,
A confidential document circulating in Whitehall says that while BT has taken steps to reduce the risk of attacks by hackers or organised crime, “we believe that the mitigating measures are not effective against deliberate attack by China”.
A Whitehall report is understood to warn that, although there is at present a “low” risk of China exploiting its capability, “the impact would be very high”.
So who knows? The US contracts might be a financial windfall for Huawei. Or, as was the case in their attempted 3Com deal and Haier’s abortive Maytag deal, security and/or protectionist concerns might threaten to scupper the whole deal. With the British report coinciding with Huawei’s American overtures, it could, quite possbly, go either way.
Has the G2 Become More Important than the G20?
Interesting article in the Washington Post today about the global recession — can coordinated effort between Washington and Beijing help pull the world out of “the great recession”? Shouldn’t the G20 summit be held in Beijing, the symbol of a 21st century capital, rather than its 20th century counterpart, London? Zachary Karabell seems to think so:
Today, China needs the United States as much as the United States needs China. This isn’t codependence; it’s interdependence, especially since the rest of the world needs both of them equally.
For Beijing and Washington to pull the world out of this Great Recession, they must overcome both mutual suspicion and self-perceptions that are quickly losing validity. China is no longer as poor as it claims; the United States is no longer as rich as it acts. This transition will be tough for both. China is a bit like a newly muscular adolescent; it is gaining power but doesn’t yet know how to wield it or to what purpose. As for Washington, it must learn to use muscles it hasn’t stretched for many years, muscles that are adept at collaboration rather than dictation, that are flexible rather than simply big.
Any thoughts on this? Is saving the world’s economy the job for the “G2″, the US and China, rather than the G20? Or is this problem so large that these two monoliths will only play a part — albeit, an immensely important part?