Huawei more innovative than IBM, Facebook, or Tesla

BCG data
Larger below

In an unscientific but large poll by Boston Consulting Group, Huawei was ranked the 6th most innovative company in the world, eclipsing some of the most respected companies in the world. Its US$20 billion research budget ranks with Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung, the only companies perceived as more innovative.

Trump’s war has done wonders for Huawei’s reputation. Two years ago, Huawei was the leader in telecom but little known outside it. When the most powerful nation on earth expressing mortal fear, people outside the industry took note.

Few of the 2,500 “senior executives” surveyed are experts in innovation. Nearly none have the time for close study. They are too busy doing their jobs. There’s no absolute measure here.

However, it would be almost impossible to rank so high and simultaneously inhibit innovation in telecom. That’s the unlikely claim of a DC advocacy outfit, ITIF. It notoriously refuses to reveal its funding, but it has close ties to U.S. corporate lobbyists.

ITIF writes

Without unfair, mercantilist Chinese government policies and programs for its telecom giants, China would lack a globally competitive telecom equipment industry. Neither Huawei, nor ZTE, would have more than minor market shares, even in China. …

Beijing’s policies dramatically limit foreign access to China’s huge telecom markets, providing them with a guaranteed source of revenue to attack foreign competitors.

Atkinson of ITIF makes no mention of the carve-out of 30% of China’s telecom purchases for Western companies a decade ago. Under pressure of an EU threat to block Huawei in Europe, the Chinese telcos were directed to order 10% from Alcatel, 10% from Nokia, and 10% from Ericsson. My sources on that include Marcus Weldon, Nokia’s CTO.

My sources that Huawei makes outstanding engineering advances include Dr. Paul Reynolds, then CEO of British Telecom Wholesale.

“I’m just back from Shenzhen, where I met an exceptional group of Huawei engineers,” Paul said back in 2004 in London. “Watch them. They are the next Cisco.” I could quote a dozen other top telecom engineers about the quality of Huawei’s work and products.

Atkinson is paid about a half-million per year, including from major telecom firms. He often depends on a single footnote to a dubious source.

I’ve urged him to pull back the paper and review it.

Say something

Scroll to top