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Huawei scores own goal

by on10 June 2015

Chinese PR makes it look evil again

Huawei has done a great job of convincing many that it is the underdog in the great spying row with the US and that it is really not a secretive outfit which is secretly spying on Western powers.

It has spent millions and convinced us that the US was returning to the days of McCarthyism with no good reason. However in one trip the outfit managed to convince a team of invited journalists that it really was a relic of the cold war and had more secrets than you can poke a stick at.

According to the Australian Financial Review a team of Aussie hacks was invited by the Chinese government to see how wonderful the country's industry was.

The tour of the company's giant, low rise research and development campus on the edge of Shanghai should have been an opportunity for the outfit to show off.

The facility houses 10,000 employees, yet is still not big enough for Huawei's ambitions,.

However Huawei insisted it was not photographed for "security reasons".

That prompted a little moaning, but nothing major as a technology evangelist from the company talked the hacks through advances in 5G and how it could be used to drive cars, fly drones and control robots.

Then some hack made the mistake of mentioning national security and a PR person swooped in and said there would be no comment on this issue.

Then the hacks were ordered not write anything about Huawei in their reports. When it was pointed out Huawei had actually invited the media to visit its campus, the response was telling.

"We didn't invite you," said the PR person. "It was the government that invited you and now you should leave."

In one move Huawei confirmed to the Western hacks that the company had something to hide and was secretly conspiring to bring down the West. It might not be, but when you are spending millions to improve your image you don't hire someone who sounds like a Cultural Revolution spokesman to shout at Western media.

Angus Grigg who was one of the Aussie hacks commented that suddenly it was clear why the Abbott Government quickly killed off suggestions it might lift the ban on Huawei tendering for work on Australia's National Broadband Network. The company, despite all its lobbying, is not at all transparent and has no answer to the security question.

To make matters worse for Huawei, the hacks then visited the Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceutical Company they could not have been more open.

The chairman, Lu Songtao, gave a frank 15 minute presentation, then spent half an hour on questions, before continuing the conversation over lunch.

He didn't hide that the company was partly state-owned via the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, which has a 15 per cent stake.

It was clearly explained how the research co-operation worked with this prestigious scientific body and how this had enabled Green Valley to develop an anti-dementia drug which would soon begin clinical trials in the west

Within half an hour the Financial Review was shown the new and old face of corporate China.

"There's paranoid Huawei that will not answer questions and refuses to explain itself in any detail to its stake holders around the world. Then there's the likes of Green Valley, which represent a new, more open face to corporate China." Grigg penned.

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