Kevin O’Brien of The New York Times checks in from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where Huawei executive Ryan Ding has offered the press something the telecom giant has often avoided – access to its decision makers:
“We hope that the more people know about Huawei, the more it will help us,” Mr. Ding said through an interpreter in Huawei’s crowded exhibition stand. “It is certainly a positive influence and help with our global business when we are open towards the government, media, customers and the general public.”
For Mr. Ding, a spry, 43-year-old, for Huawei and perhaps for China, now is the time to tell the company’s story, instead of letting others do it for them.
That is a priority for Huawei, which has been virtually shut out of the U.S. market, the world’s biggest for telecommunications equipment, because lawmakers are concerned about its links to the Chinese government and military. A recent spate of hacking incidents tied to the military has not helped its cause.
Huawei denies that it is subsidized by the Chinese government and that its equipment poses a threat. The company says the U.S. blockade, encouraged last year by a congressional committee, is trade protectionism.