News / Economy

China Spreads Its Mobile Wings – But Can It Fly?

Huawei's Singapore CEO Zhou Bin (L-R), David Wei, President of Huawei South Pacific and Lim Chee Siong Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei South Pacific, show the new Huawei Ascend P6 Android-based smartphones during their launch at CommunicAsia communication
Huawei's Singapore CEO Zhou Bin (L-R), David Wei, President of Huawei South Pacific and Lim Chee Siong Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei South Pacific, show the new Huawei Ascend P6 Android-based smartphones during their launch at CommunicAsia communication
Two of China’s leading networking and telecommunications companies are getting ready to storm the global markets for high-tech mobile devices and take on the likes of tech giants Apple and Samsung with their own brand-named products.
 
The new ZTE Grand S Lite is pictured during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 25, 2013.The new ZTE Grand S Lite is pictured during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 25, 2013.
x
The new ZTE Grand S Lite is pictured during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 25, 2013.
The new ZTE Grand S Lite is pictured during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 25, 2013.
ZTE Corp., hopes to win over U.S. customers with a line of new phone/tablet combination devices and Huawei is targeting Asia and Western Europe with a super-slim smartphone.
 
Industry experts caution that challenging heavyweights like Apple and Samsung won’t be easy.
 
But Richard Yu, chairman of Huawei, is confident – some would say overly confident – that his company can pull it off.
 
“In its latest update, Apple makes the phone extremely simple to use,” Yu told The Telegraph newspaper recently. “But if we are just learning from them we can’t catch up… We want to go higher than them.” 

China's domestinc advantage
 
Kitty Fok, a marketing manager with the global market research firm, IDC, says the Chinese companies like Huawei and others will be getting some help in challenging the industry leaders.
 
Fok says the Beijing government's long-time focus on the high-tech sector and its insistence on developing information technology (IT) plays to the advantage of Chinese companies, whether private or state-affiliated.
 
Accordingly, Beijing has put in place “a whole range of policies that are attempts to improve the competitive position of Chinese firms,” said Adam Segal, a China scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
 
The Chinese “have a clear interest in moving from 'made in China' to 'innovated in China,'” Segal said, and they “have made it clear that they do not want to be dependent on the West.”  
 
Given the dominance of brands like Apple, Samsung and Google’s Android mobile operating system, Beijing is increasingly concerned about the penetration of foreign technology in Chinese society and prefers to have domestic companies playing these roles.
 
“This is one of the reasons the Chinese booted out Google and why the Chinese have, in a sense, compelled the substitution of domestic providers … for things like Facebook and Google and Twitter,” said Dean Cheng, a China research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’ in Washington.
 
This also gives the Chinese government “a far greater ability to shut down social media because it owns [more of] these components than almost any other country in the world,” adds Segal.
 
This month, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information technology issued a white paper that said Google’s Android operating system software had too much control in China’s smartphone industry and accused the company of discriminating against some local firms by delaying the sharing of software codes.

Hacking and the blame game
 
U.S. House Intelligence Committee's report on "national security threats posed by Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE" is seen at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 8, 2012.U.S. House Intelligence Committee's report on "national security threats posed by Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE" is seen at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 8, 2012.
x
U.S. House Intelligence Committee's report on "national security threats posed by Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE" is seen at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 8, 2012.
U.S. House Intelligence Committee's report on "national security threats posed by Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE" is seen at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 8, 2012.
Chinese media had also criticized Apple and Microsoft product warranty policies and trademark issues in recent months, largely seen as a reaction to last year’s report by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee that said potential government influence over Huawei and ZTE posed a threat to U.S. security. Congress subsequently restricted the purchase of certain high-tech systems and components made in China.
 
A Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, quoted by Reuters, took issue with the U.S. Congress, saying it “uses Internet security as an excuse to take discriminatory steps against Chinese companies.”
 
But the Heritage Foundation's Cheng said the Chinese criticism might be an attempt to “leverage more technology out of foreign investors” by portraying them as treating China unfairly. 
 
“They are trying to get the moral upper hand in the course of negotiations,” he said.
 
But Segal of the Council on Foreign Relations says Beijing realizes it has to move cautiously.
 
“They still want U.S. and other companies to do research and development in China,” Segal said.
 
And Cheng notes that this would help Chinese go “after a high technology in order to be competitive” and “move up the value chain in terms of what China produces, and also to position China better as a global competitor.”
 
“That … translates to the Chinese government wanting Chinese state-owned enterprises to be competitive and facilitating their access, sometimes illegally, to foreign high technology,” Cheng said.
 
China has been accused of being the source of cyber-attacks against U.S. government agencies and private corporations, often seeking military technology or the latest high-tech industry developments. The computer security firm, Mandiant, has concluded that many of the cyber-attacks have been coming from a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai.
 
Beijing has repeatedly proclaimed its innocence and says it is a victim, not the perpetrator, of cyber-attacks. The latest revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency’s internet snooping have played right into the Chinese narrative.

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook addresses the crowd during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013 in San Francisco, California, June 10, 2013.Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook addresses the crowd during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013 in San Francisco, California, June 10, 2013.
x
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook addresses the crowd during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013 in San Francisco, California, June 10, 2013.
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook addresses the crowd during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013 in San Francisco, California, June 10, 2013.
It's all about branding
 
Whatever the truth, the hacking allegations make it more difficult for Chinese companies to compete on the global level, even for a company like Huawei, which is listed as a private firm.
 
Even though Chinese web service companies like Baidu and Weibo have been successful at home, Segal says it's not at all assured their domestic success, even in a market as large as China, will provide a base for successful global operations.
 
As for companies like Huawei and ZTE going global with their own brand-named phones and tablets, Cheng said they would be facing “some serious issues – everything from corporate reputation to issues of quality control.”
 
Huawei, according to Reuters, was the fourth-largest smartphone maker in the first quarter of 2013, trailing LG Electronics, Apple and Samsung, and selling nine million phones - mostly in China.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Resolve Nuclear Deal Issues

Leaders find resolution on issues of liability of suppliers to India in event of nuclear accident, US demands to track whereabouts of material supplied to country More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mhey from: Philippines
June 29, 2013 5:35 AM
I'd rather not have than to buy made in China,lol


by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
June 28, 2013 12:43 PM
I will buy it, always support China!


by: Knight from: Canada
June 27, 2013 1:48 PM
At-least there would be a stiff competition in Global Cellular market, result better products & technology @ low $$$............

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8930
JPY
USD
117.98
GBP
USD
0.6673
CAD
USD
1.2445
INR
USD
61.498

Rates may not be current.