Is there any other company that better captures the dual way China is perceived internationally than Huawei? As one of China's few market-based telecommunications equipment providers, the company is in many ways a symbol of China's high-tech, global future. And yet this is the same company frequently tarred as a security threat by foreign journalists who play up the military background of founder Ren Zhangfei and point with some justification to China's dismal record in Internet security and online freedom.

How do people in the telecommunications industry think about Huawei? And what is really going on with the Shenzhen-based ICT conglomerate. Joining Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn this week to talk about Ren Zhangfei and the company he built are two experts in the Chinese telecommunications market: David Wolf, president of the ICT consulting firm Wolf Group Asia, and Will Moss, a Chinese public relations expert who works in the telecommunications industry.

As always, two quick reminders before we get to the show. First please be aware that you can subscribe to Sinica through iTunes using our RSS feed at Facebook users are also welcome to check us out there on our group page at And as always, please be aware that if you don't want to listen to our show online, you're always welcome to download it directly from our site as a standalone mp3 file.
 said on
September 2, 2012

China in the Eye of the Beholder by Minxin Pei | Project Syndicate

Making the Connection: The Peaceful Rise of China's Telecommunications Giants by David Wolf


Will: 1. Victims’ Sons in Tough Fight for Redress After China Rail Crash | NYT

2. China Railway Museum 中国铁道博物馆 (in Chinese)

David: Nomonhan, 1939: The Red Army's Victory That Shaped World War II by Stuart D Goldman

Jeremy: 1. Sex in China: Q&A with author Richard Burger

2. China food safety app: 中国求生手册

Kaiser: 1. From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia by Pankaj Mishra

2. Liang Ch'i Ch'ao And The Mind Of Modern China by Joseph Levenson

3. Asian Ideas of East and West: Tagore and His Critics in Japan, China, and India by Stephen Hay
 said on
September 7, 2012
The US' treatment of Huawei, ZTE and alike are exactly how one should expect it to be. The only reason foreign telcos are not treated this way by China is because -- as Mr. Wolf described in the podcast -- they got their foot in the door before there was any serious Chinese competition. Had China have a domestic industry back then, Cisco and Co. would have met exactly the same kinds of obstacles, only stronger.

And as the domestic telco equipment industry grows, Chinese protectionism will invariably grow -- in disproportional intensity. If there's anyone more paranoid about infrastructure security than American politicians, that'd be Chinese politicians. Same thing is already starting to happen with the automobile industry.

Speaking of security paranoia of the Chinese state, I would find it highly interesting to have an episode sometime where Mr. Jenne from the Granite Studio can come and talk about the history of the air raid bunkers in Beijing and other cities, as well as the massive relocation of heavy industry deep into the inland for strategic security considerations in the early years of the PRC. Those things are not just interesting from the political point of view, but also because they've left a significant imprint on culture and society in China.
 said on
September 7, 2012

A new online China related magazine by Project of the Center on US-China Relations at Asia Society.

Certainly worth a mention in the recommendations section I'd assume.
Mark Lesson Studied