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Field Notes: Highlights from Huawei (a16z.com)
149 points by yblu on May 30, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 92 comments

The last paragraph was fascinating...

> My family uses Apple’s phones; Apple’s ecology is very good. When family members travel abroad, I would gift them an Apple computer. One can’t narrow-mindedly believe that if you love Huawei then you must only use Huawei mobile phones.

> At present, public sentiment about Huawei is being spun in one of two ways. The first spin is that if you are patriotic then you should buy Huawei. The other spin is that Huawei has hijacked the patriotic sentiment of the people. [But this is just spin] after all, my own child doesn’t love Huawei [product], my own child loves Apple [product].

This is a classic submarine PR hack to "defuse" the trade war, by showing an emphatic side. One can easily get away with such statements that can't be demonstrably proven and hence needs to be thrown away, since it's just noise in the context of the actual discussion (the US's sanctions on Huawei).

Which part are you referring to? I think word that the CEO plus family use iPhones was out there for much longer than the huawei ban, so they either were planning ahead or it's actually true.

As for the PR hack I wouldn't go as far as calling it a hack... It just sounds very Chinese from my perspective. They do go full trump sometimes but usually there's this harmony thing going on. Keep in mind that this is the translation of an interview given to Chinese media, it was primarily directed at Chinese citizens.

Why was this downvoted?

It is a very reasonable opinion about anything said in a cold war. You can even disagree with that assumption and still should consider that it might be just such a hack.

The strengths of western society is not being locked into one opinion. Let's embrace that more now that it also matters and is not just for self expression anymore.

I was surprised by this too. It's not the type of admission a Chinese business leader would typically make. If it gains any traction of social media, the comment will probably be deleted.

No, this very paragraph is even highlighted in many major social media in China. The public opinions are oriented that people should be wise about products of Huawei.

> If it gains any traction of social media, the comment will probably be deleted.

Please elaborate on why you think this. Is there past history or evidence of this type of behavior?

I'm going to assume that this is an honest question. Here is the answer: https://www.google.com/search?q=china+media+%22has+since+bee...

I enjoyed this read. There is pride but there is humility too. We are separated by language difficulty. The 996 movement and this is a reminder to me that we are not all that different. They did not start the trade war, and everyone in my state desired low price goods for decades before it was suddenly wrong to have a trade deficit.

They started the trade war before it even began by not allowing key US companies with market access...Pretty sure they blacklisted Google and Facebook well before we blacklisted Huawei.

Huawei and Facebook/Google case is not the same.

Huawei was put in the Entity list. That means two things.

1)Huawei can't sell any equipment or phone in the US. It's about market access. It's equal to Google/Facebook were denied to access the Chinese market if they don't obey the censorship policies. Huawei was also denied to access mainstream America market for a long time.

2)Huawei can't buy any components and services from any American companies. Even Google & Facebook are not accessible in China, they still have lots of business there.

So basically, Putting Huawei in the Entity list almost means to kill Huawei because Chips from American companies are important for their supply chain. It's not only about market access.

That's the reason many people in China feel very angry.

The basic idea behind your point is "What we (China) did is totally fine in terms of working against your (US) economy but you doing something different against us (China) is NOT okay, irrespective of the magnitude of impact."

Seems pretty silly to me. China's barring of US enterprises from selling in China is dramatically more damaging at scale than US blacklisting Huawei.

You misunderstood the comment. I didn't mean it's fine. Most people don't like censorship. I just presented the perspective from the other side.

Regarding your point about the "against US economy" or "against China economy". Maybe you are in a war mindset. If we jump out this "war" mindset, we can see "China's barring of US enterprises from selling in China" is really not about against the "US economy". It's about censorship.

1) There are many US companies which are very successful in China, Qualcomm, Apple, Nike, Starbuck, etc. Actually, I rarely heard any stories about the market access problem for non-internet companies in China.

2) There is a "forced IP transfer/partnership" issue in some sectors, for example, the auto sector. It is very unfair. But the result of it is also very complex. I will address it in a separate post.

3) The market access issue of many internet companies, such as Facebook/Google, is about censorship policies. Google operated in China several years ago, but it withdrew from the market because of the censorship requirements from the government. Apple complies with the requirement, so it works well in China. I didn't mean "Censorship" is a good thing. I just mean as far as I can understand, it's about "censorship", not about "against US economy".

"Magnitude of impact": Could you explain more about this point?

> Google operated in China several years ago, but it withdrew from the market because of the censorship requirements from the government

Google hesitated to enter China because of the censorship requirements (1) but eventually entered anyway, led by a researcher they hired away from Microsoft, Kai-Fu Lee (1, 2). They exited because they caught the Chinese associates stealing source code, and only after their first "war room" effort to nail down exactly what was going on (1, 3).

(1) https://www.amazon.com/Plex-Google-Thinks-Works-Shapes/dp/14...

(2) https://www.cio.com/article/2425034/head-of-google-china-lea...

(3) https://techcrunch.com/2010/01/12/google-china-attacks/

Thanks for bringing these references up. However, I think the major reason is still censorship or too much censorship & political dissent. The aim of stealing source code is probably to hack the account of political dissents as Google pointed out. The action was more about "the political motivation related to dissent" than "against US economy". That's my main point.


Brin: I don't think it's a question of taking on China. In fact, I am a great admirer of both China and the Chinese government for the progress they have made. It is really opposing censorship and speaking out for the freedom of political dissent, and that's the key issue from our side.

SPIEGEL: Four years ago, you allowed your service to be censored. Why have you changed your mind now?

Brin: The hacking attacks were the straw that broke the camel's back. There were several aspects there: the attack directly on Google, which we believe was an attempt to gain access to Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. But there is also a broader pattern we then discovered of simply the surveillance of human rights activists.

"Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. "

I don't think I did misunderstand that point. I'm just trying to say that the _reason_ is not really logical in the context of what the relative impact is on each others' economies from these actions. It's drawing an arbitrary line and not addressing the actual impacts of these actions.

You can differentiate mindsets or not but it's clear that the actions are taken to cause disadvantage for the other and advantage for themselves in both directions.

As someone who has been a part of multiple enterprises that have considered entering the Chinese market and would have not had any reason to be censored (nothing to censor), I can tell you that that's just not the case at ALL. China erects as many barriers to entry for foreign companies as possible. You yourself address that directly with regards to the forced IP transfer/partnership point. Many (most? speculatively) of the companies that are successful in the Chinese market are successful due to China having no reasonable alternative (Qualcomm, Intel, AMD, etc.).

When I talk about the magnitude of impact, I'm trying to compare say the entire loss of Huawei with the lost sales of US companies were they able to enter the Chinese market as easily as Chinese companies may enter the US market. Huawei is tiny on that relative scale.

// Many (most? speculatively) of the companies that are successful in the Chinese market are successful due to China having no reasonable alternative (Qualcomm, Intel, AMD, etc.). //

Yes, I agree that many of them are successful because they have tech advantages and there are no good alternatives as you pointed out. However, there are also many successful non-tech US companies in China. They have/had good alternatives. Here are some brands jump in my mind: Many products from Procter & Gamble Co, Coca Cola/Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Nike, Adidas, Walmart, Ford, KFC/McDonald, Starbucks, Subway.

From my experience in both the US and China, I guess there are far more successful US brands in China than successful Chinese brands in the US. Yes, the US imports more from China, but many products are US brands.

//China erects as many barriers to entry for foreign companies as possible. //

I also agree that business barriers for foreign companies in China are higher than they are in the US. Overall, the US is among the most business-friendly countries.

However, we need to put it into a bigger context. According to the ease of doing business index https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ease_of_doing_business_index The US ranks in the 8th and China in 46th.

1) Doing business in China is harder for both Chinese local business and foreign business than it is in the US. This is the big picture. Especially when you are from the US, you may be very frustrated with some non-sense requirements for doing business in China. Many private local companies also face the same non-sense stuff, but because they understand the environment better, they may come up some tricks to work around the issues.

2) I totally understand that you have a bad experience about the barriers. From my experiences and my friends' experiences, the business-friendly-index for different kinds of business: State-owned companies > Foreign companies > Local private companies in many sectors. The least advantage one is the local private companies. Many local governments are competing for attracting foreign business to boost the local economies. They don't care about small local private business.

// When I talk about the magnitude of impact, I'm trying to compare say the entire loss of Huawei with the lost sales of US companies were they able to enter the Chinese market as easily as Chinese companies may enter the US market. Huawei is tiny on that relative scale. //

Maybe you are right about the impact. However, it's really hard to say the impact of the "protect state-owned companies" policies is a good impact on the Chinese Economies. From the economics point, the "state-owned" companies are very inefficient. It may cause far more damage to the overall Chinese economy.

Another point to see the impact is about the psychological impact: Killing Huawei to people in China is like Killing Apple for people in the US. Its psychological impact is far more than some business barries.

1) It is more like where the brand was strong survived (or where the technology was hard to replicate). I'm pretty sure there are plenty of example including wahaha-danone etc.

Don't get me wrong, China did it well to carve back it's status and didn't get colonized by US, but sooner or later the other parties naturally get angry if piggy-backing goes too far. It's the same in friendship, if your friend is mean once doesn't matter, but if he always take away more then what he is giving then the relationship will break down eventually.

A large part of the dispute is due to China not enforcing and codifying its own laws. All US wants is for the laws to be on the books and fairly applied.

Why can't China be interested in both censorship and economic gain? It's two birds with one stone, and I really doubt such large bureaucracies would have such an important decision come down to two factors (money or censorship?), like what about internal political factors?

joel_liu was crystal clear about where the cases are similar and where they diverged.

There was even a numbered list to help you out with it.

Saying that there's more harm done by blocking Facebook inside China than there is by trying to eliminate Huawei worldwide... well, I'm already on record downthread calling that attitude colonialist.

I suppose, if it backfires and causes Huawei to successfully develop a competing OS, you'll be sort of right.. although I think intentions should count for something.

What's your point? Do you think I misrepresented his points?

What he didn't include was the relative damage from these different motions which was my expansion on it. Feel free to add more to the discussion than "what he said was well laid out".

Nice use of the edit to actually include something beyond "it was well laid out".

Not sure if you're being intentionally disingenuous or not but China hasn't blocked just Facebook from operating in China. They've blocked US enterprises whole hog except where they had no alternative. On a level playing field where US enterprises had equal access to China as Chinese enterprises to the US, the proceeds would be dramatically larger than that of the single enterprise that is Huawei.

Call it "colonialist" or whatever dirty word you want to paint the US as evil, it's hard to look at the way China has operated from an economic POV and not have expected retaliation at some point.

If Huawei and other Chinese enterprises develop their own OS, it will be comically difficult if not impossible for it to compete on the worldwide stage unless it's focused on being compatible with existing apps. Network effects are real. Android has minimal threat.

> They've blocked US enterprises whole hog except where they had no alternative.

Try walking through a mall in Shanghai it Beijing some day, and try saying this again. American companies and brands are everywhere. They don't have to drink Starbucks - it would be perfectly possible for a Chinese company to brew coffee - but they do.

> it's hard to look at the way China has operated from an economic POV and not have expected retaliation at some point.

They've provided cheap labor to American corporations, boosting those companies' profits. They've allowed their labor force to be massively exploited by Western companies, with the understanding that they themselves would be able to eventually move up the value chain and live on a level closer to people in the developed world.

The reason for the "retaliation" is that there is a circle of people in American politics that cannot accept the United States being eclipsed by another power. This is about geopolitics. An established power fears a rising power, and is moving to try to cripple the rising power while there's still time.

Perhaps the response is disproportionate because the United States has built up international coalitions over time, but a lot of people observing western media are going to think that this is but one event in a recent history of tension and escalation.

I would say similarly if China decides to limit their production of rare earth metals.

I'm not sure if you're aware, but "you must open your markets to our companies" is basically how a lot of colonialism and imperialism unfolded in China in the early 20th century.

The fear is understandable, but then they should understand why the US is reciprocating on limiting markets, right?

Denying access to US markets in turn, or refusing to do business on terms we don't like would be pretty fair. Trying to cripple Huawei in Europe is a bit of an escalation. Imprisoning their CFO is ridiculous.

All's fair in love and war, of course, but I tire of the moralizing from people who don't know any history.

Then it is only fair that the US closes market access to Chinese companies, would you agree?

See below, but also, you realize that that's not what's going on here, right?

Us govt is forbidding Google from SELLING them licensing and support.

It's an effort to cripple Huawei in non us markets.

You see anyone trying to bring iPhone production back to America? Where was your kitchenware made? Your toaster?

This isn't about us markets, it's about global power politics.. and likely more than a little about personal interactions that Trump has had.

Yes, Google licenses and products are a US market, because Google sells these things as a US company. You buy these things with US dollars. Because why? Because Google isn't even allowed to sell anything in China to begin with. Everything else is semantics.

The CCP disallows foreign companies to participate in the market until the IP is in Chinese hands. This is global power politics, and has been going on for many years.

You will lose against China unless you implement full reciprocity. This should go far beyond Huawei, it should hit every Chinese company.

And the same should be true for Boeing, Airbus, US farmers and pharma companies. Alas, we don't live in a fair world, so Huawei is a start.

Cheers, at least you're honest about it being pure Thucididean rivalry. Although I'd be willing to bet, again, that there's a significant personal component for Trump, that seems to generally be his highest motivator and we're singling out a particular company here.

Counterpoint on the broader prescription: Mercantilist systems are historically way less stable. They brought us WWI. Then the cold war brought us dozens of bloody proxy wars.

Maybe there's a win-win possibility instead? I'd contend that if we could do a better job of sharing the pie on our side, we could take the profits from trade and not have a pissed-off middle class electing demagogues.

As it stands, there were little (let's say at least felt) profits from trade for a large part of the US population. Their jobs went away, the additional money never came.

Now it turns out that the Chinese have been profiting from this, often by illegal means and on a basis that exactly isn't free trade and competition.

So what do you tell your voters if you are the Donald? Sorry we got duped by China, but trade is still good? Sorry its the CEO's fault for caring about short term goals?

I mean is it even ethical to continue with China? Buy Huawei after they stole all their tech from Cisco (or whatever example you want to bring here)?

I think the goal, beyond fair intra-US distribution, must be to force China to play fair. Market access, both import and export, must be tit-for-tat. IP theft and license infringement must be handled in the same way. This would give China a legitimate way to act in the same way if an US company acts out. If that occurs, we may have a mutually beneficial equilibrium.

Currently, it is not. And it is also not stable. The more wealth, production and IP shifts - or seems to shift - from US to China based on seemingly unfair advantages, the closer we are to war.

>Their jobs went away, the additional money never came. The jobs will still be gone after banning Huawei. Trump did not ban the manufacturing of crapple iphones in China. You are still continuing to profit from cheap Chinese labor paid in slave wages while wanting to maximize margins selling at high prices in your own country but somehow Huawei is an evil company for selling the same product at a cheaper price. Meanwhile in EU : https://www.taxjustice.net/2018/06/25/new-report-is-apple-pa... But yes it's our best interest in the world if the US shuts down all competition by destroying China's own corporations, while the US keeps using the oversea cheap labor and destroying their own lower classes anyway because the trade war is not really about bringing back the jobs and you're astroturfing for one of the most repulsive presidents in US history. Fuck you.

> Because Google isn't even allowed to sell anything in China to begin with.

The only thing Google isn't allowed to sell in China is access to uncensored information. Their advertising business is alive and well (albeit censored), as this article about them disallowing VPN ads in China demonstrates: https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-bans-vpn-ads-in-china/

The humility seems fabricated for PR imho. I might be wrong but from what I’ve been reading both US and China have double standards, are cunning and perverted. Neither is willingly going to change their ways just because. It’ll take more than that..

I cannot help but read the CEO's comments in a strategic manner, where more than anything explicitly mentioned, they communicate an immense desire or even need for the company to be able to intensively work with US companies again.

Almost every comment noted makes a point to praise US companies or portray Huawei as a desirable and capable but non-threatening partner.

Yes, please read it in a strategic manner. However also consider that a praise can be presented in different ways. Sometimes a company is praised to increase the company's pride. Sometimes it is praised to really show a need for cooperation. Sometimes it is praised in a manner that shows "we could work together but if not it's also fine". And sometimes such a representation is honest and sometimes its fake. So at least three dimensions in every sentence.

> portray Huawei as a desirable and capable but non-threatening partner

Out of curiosity and for the purpose of expicitness, are you implying a mirroring of what is often alleged to be China's geopolitical strategy, ie: appear to be a non-threatening generous partner right up until the last moment? This is what is often portrayed in the recent debt-trap descriptions of China's activities in Africa, South and South-EAst Asia.

What made me particularly sick is when asked about over time working problem (996[1]), Ren's answer was: Huawei obeys the law and protect workers, but our workers have a calling, they won't be successful without their calling. Foreign scientists work even harder than Chinese scientists, many foreign scientists don't get married before 40s.

This is the finest propaganda I've seen recently, well matching the "Our great Patriot Farmers" tweet[2]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/996_working_hour_system

[2] https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/11282610666544087...

It isn't much of an exaggeration to say his company is under sustained attack by the United States. Control over telecommunications is a plank in the US's strategic dominance; if Huawei was based in Iran a WMD-found-boots-on-ground-needed incident might even be on the cards. There are 300 million people in the world who are notionally legally bound to try and make Huawei's life difficult.

I'm not sure I can begrudge him propaganda. The threats to him personally and professionally are huge.

A great first step in encouraging technological openness would be dropping the Chinese Firewall[1,2]. Chinese companies have had a playing field slanted toward them for a while now. We should work toward open innovations in both the U.S. and China.

Don't get me wrong; I disagree with the recent U.S. approach and agree that it's not an exaggeration to call this an attack on Huawei, but we'll have far worse things to worry about than Google removing ad-blocking if we let the Chinese state dictate our online lives.

I don't think protectionism is the answer, but I don't think the Huawei CEO is being completely genuine in his presentation here. It was definitely interesting to hear his perspective though.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Firewall [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Websites_blocked_in_mainland_C...

> A great first step in encouraging technological openness would be dropping the Chinese Firewall[1,2].

A great first step in encouraging technological openness would be dropping the decades long high tech embargo against China.

I don’t see how that’s related to China’s Great Firewall. What decades long embargo are you referring to?

Indeed, especially since by all accounts a lot of the firewall is built out of Western tech (e.g. Cisco).

Similarly, many large US tech companies are under sustained attack by China and have been banned for years now while copies have popped up.

> I'm not sure I can begrudge him propaganda.

I don't have any issue with begrudging an apparatus of an authoritarian surveillance state.

From my friends in Physics he seems to be correct about foreign scientists - but that's not something to be proud of or emulate.

It's just that since the Cold War the conditions in science have become rather awful.

Ironically enough, I remember Ren Zhengfei being referred to as “China’s Donald Trump” long before Trump was elected president, maybe in 2014 or 2013 (a coworker mentioned it to me over lunch)? I think he got this title by being outlandishly outspoken and overly patriotic.

Edit: never mind, it was another Ren (Zhiqiang rather than Zhengfei) https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-34350352

> The United States does not have the power to call on all other countries to close the door to Huawei.

Sure it does. The US has the sovereign right to decide who it wants to do business with, and the right to say "if you do business with Huawei, we won't do business with you", and leave it up to other countries to decide which route they would like to go.

Agreed. It's not likely to be handled so directly, but the people who do this negotiation are well able to make the point without saying the words. If chess was a good analog to the wars of old, poker is a more fitting analog to diplomacy today.

I would like to hear what they have to say about patent infringements and allegations that Huawei stole Cisco technology and sold it 10x cheaper.

"...yet we are still very grateful to the American companies. They have made a lot of contributions to us."

And not always voluntarily :)

e.g. MacBook --> MateBook

When I got one of those electric unicycles, I got mine from Inventist (Solowheel), I was shocked to learn how badly the company got ripped off in China. Since they were fabricated there, they copied the thing to a tee and hundeds of companies started making the same thing, some copies bad and dangerous, others improved. To summarize, the original company, Inventist, was attemped a mafia style takeover, I think they were offered a few mil USD which they refused. The gyro mechanism was based on some patented technology from Segway and eventually one of the chinese companies took over Segway.. Real story:( Things coming from China are now cheap but after they eliminate all the competitors they’ll name the price. Of course, US is not an angel either, they’re the ones to open the pandora’s box to cheap chinese labor, moved all their factories there to gain the short term profits by eliminating the cost of their own workers.

wait, they bought the company with the pattent? that's exactly what american capitalism is about!

apple bought fingerworks(?) and sat on top of their patents, refusing all license requests, until 20(?) years later they started working on the iphone. How exactly is the chinese abuse of patents any different?

you can't cry for solowheel without also cursing apple for the death of palm pilot and all other portables before the iphone (not to mention the awesome keyboard+touchpad fingerworks was delivering the months apple shut them down)

Apple is just doing what makes them money, and the Chinese company that bought Segway is also just doing what makes it money.

The real issue is a patent system that allows someone to refuse to license a patent. That goes against the whole point of patents. You're supposed to be getting the innovative technology out there in exchange for the right to royalties. If technological progress has not been furthered by the publicization of your patent (by other companies building novel devices that they otherwise wouldn't have, using what they learned from your patent), then you don't really have a patent. You have a trade secret that the government is helping you protect for some reason.

Patents should require licensing to keep them alive in about the same way that trademarks require defending to keep them alive.

>The real issue is a patent system that allows someone to refuse to license a patent.

One solution (suggested in the book "Radical Markets" - http://radicalmarkets.com/ ) is pretty straightforward: charge a yearly tax of around 7% on the patent equal to whatever the patent owner claims it is worth, with the caveat that they MUST sell the entire patent to whoever is willing to pay the claimed "value" of said patent - this prevents under-pricing AND over-pricing and ensures maximal societal benefit of said government-granted monopoly.

The book goes into a lot more detail, and the authors have good solutions for the more obvious arguments against such a scheme.

Patents are government granted monopolies. You see to confuse what you want them to be with what they are.

Apple bought FingerWorks in 2005 an use their technology in iPhone, which came out two years later.

>wait, they bought the company with the pattent? that's exactly what american capitalism is about!

after infringing said patents for long enough to devalue that company, just like Creative did to Aureal.

exactly. Ask the guys at Nortel.

Seems by and large reasonable but notably doesn't address the elephant in the room: potential their hardware has built-in backdoors for China government access. Should be simple enough to provide at least basic assurances (a la Apple)

Backdoors come in red, white, and blue colors too besides just red and yellow. This isn't just whataboutism, as wannacry and the like show. We have no more accountability here or there. Traffic can be encrypted end to end anyway. Paranoia can be counter productive. If 5g became worthless during a military confrontation with china there are many other choices for emergency communication. Even mentioning this has me worried with a loose cannon in the executive.

I would have liked to see a comment on the extradition of the CFO to the US.

From the full interview https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/BkPvcbVU-ogZcWwFkKQqEw


Arresting my relatives is intended to affect my determination; the encouragement I receive from my relatives is to encourage my determination. My daughter wrote me a letter, saying that she will mentally prepare for the long term; she's also very optimistic; I'm relieved; this has reduced the pressure a lot. I want to go beyond myself, beyond my family, beyond Huawei and consider the problems of this world, otherwise I wouldn't be objective anymore.

Ren said his daughter (the CFO) is fully prepared to complete a PhD when locked up in prison.

It touched on that. It said everyone worked overtime when that first happened.

I haven't seen it in other comments so let me add that interpretation as well:

It is not just an expression of a participant in a trade war between his and another country. It is also an expression of a politician who wants to become a father figure for his people.

It is very very risky to even hint at something like this in such times. It is not impossible that we see Xi Jinping taking apart Huawei at some point to beat a possible internal competitor.

Think about the admirable spirit one must have to put ones life on the line. Wow. That's more than Elon Musk or Ma Yun are doing.

And it also means he's either going crazy (unlikely) or that he has a lot of backing from political forces that try to undermine the Xi government from within. Let's hope he's more Cao Cao than Yuan Shu.

I would love to read a full translation of these remarks - along with a color commentary regarding the cultural expectations of what a proper Chinese CEO is expected to say vis-a-vis what a proper American CEO is expected to say.

I have a feeling the “spare tire” chips are chips they’ve been ripping off from Qualcomm et al, and now they have an excuse to make them. That would explain why he is framing it that they were just for a contingency, they never planned on using them.

They’ve done that many times in the past, but they’re too big to get away with it so easily now.

I dunno how much of this is P/R and how much is humility. If this was coming from a CEO of a Japanese company I would be much more likely to believe him. In the end it was his government's power moves that have started all of this. He's not at fault but his government sure is.

What power moves specifically? Curious. I'm not saying the Chinese government isn't at fault because the asymmetry of market access isn't something that we should tolerate. But we did tolerate for a long time. So what I'm curious about is what happened to start this change.

The trade war was obviously begun by Trump. There are people who are already trying to rewrite history on this.

You don’t think they are involved in IP ah liberation. Benefit from the need a mainland partner to work in the mainland policy?

          Forced-IP-transfer is a double-edged sword
This article is about Huawei and the trade war is the larger background. I had some entrepreneurship experience both in China and the States. "Forced IP transfer policies" is one of the core issues between the US and China. I'd like to share some thoughts about this issue from the perspectives of some entrepreneur friends in China. AFAICT, the real impact of the "forced IP transfer" is very complex. I didn't see any media report about it, so I share it here.

The perspective from media: "Forced IP transfer policies" is very unfair because it helps Chinese companies to get an unfair advantage. It's bad for foreign companies and good for Chinese economies.

The perspective from many entrepreneurs in China: "Forced IP transfer policies" is very unfair because it helps the foreign companies get an unfair advantage. It's bad for Chinese private companies and economies.

Here is the explanation from the entrepreneurs' perspective:

1) The most "forced IP transfer" happened in the Chinese-foreign partnership companies.

2) However, the partnership is between state-owned companies and foreign companies.

3) Most of the state-owned companies are very inefficient. The system makes people lazy and corruptive.

4) The partnership companies did get some technologies, often the older technologies. However, they also get benefits from the state, very cheap land, subsidies, etc.

5)From the perspective of local entrepreneurs: Benefits from state + Foreign tech and brand makes the already-strong foreign companies even stronger. They get double advantages. It's very hard to compete with them. To local entrepreneurs, the Chinese state-owned companies + Foreign companies partnership model kills many local private companies unfairly.

6) From the technologies side, the state-owned companies get some older technologies, but since the state-owned companies have their own issues like lazy, corruption. They didn't get a tech edge in the competition. The transferred technologies outdated very fast.

One example is the Auto industry. Most auto brands from the US is very successful in China, for example, Buick is not very successful in the US, but the overall sales in China exceeded 10M! Ford is also very successful in China https://thenewswheel.com/ford-sales-in-china-surpass-1-milli...

Did the "transferred technologies make them less successful"? It's really hard to say.

There is some "forced IP transfer" in some sectors, but the impact to the overall economies may or may not positive because it makes the local private companies in a very disadvantaged position. It's really a double-edged sword.

>…on a Google and Huawei phone operating system:

>Google and Huawei are discussing together how to implement a solution.

Curious what he means by this. Such cooperation may violate U.S. law.


The "China is 5,000 years of unbroken civilization" trope is also a bit of historical myth-making; aside from the obvious fact that the modern Chinese state is very young, "China" has, much like Europe, been a churning amalgamation of numerous different civilizational centers and cultures, with going periodic "foreign" influxes, back to the earliest periods for which we have evidence. The idea of a unitary, persistent, continuous, and homogeneous "Chinese civilization" is a relatively modern, ideological position, that tells you something about the people who bear it (in the same way that someone conflating modern 'Western civilization' and ancient Greece might be signalling something about their ideology).

There's much more continuity of the idea of China than you're suggesting. The existence of a relatively stable writing system, such that people today can still read ancient texts with some practice, of unifying ideas like the Mandate of Heaven, of Legalist governmental practices and Confucian values have created a much greater level of contiguity than in Europe. Even the foreign rulers were Sinicized to a great extent (similarly to how Rome, conquering Greece, was conquered culturally by the latter).

The young now can barely write traditional script due to mobile. It will require a lot more training soon :)

They can't write, but they can read!

In all seriousness, it seems that people still do value the ability to write characters beautifully - much more than people value handwriting skills in the United States, at least.

> The current leadership actively destroys history to suit their new narratives including razing of ancient history to help the young forget.

I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion, are you referring to culture revolution? That's about 50 years ago , and things are different now. Actually the government is inclined to bury those periods of story, and promoting more tradition and ancient history.

I'm annoyed by folks keep talking about Chinese govt. bans Google and Facebook whenever they see fit.

Let's be clear: no, thanks but no! We've got 1 big brother and really not interested 2 more.

Comparing the power the Chinese government holds over its people to American advertising companies that try to sell you consumer goods is laughable.

OK. how do you escape from the rule Chinese government? simple: go to another country. how could you escape from google/fb? welcome to China!

Google can’t make you or your family disappear

Google can make you disappear from the internet. Depending on who you are this might be good of very bad for you.

I’m not sure if this spare tire is as potent as he is saying it is. His analog of nuclear weapons are his spare tires(home grown microchips). I’m not sure if it even makes sense given if they had it, they would save costs to use their own. On the other hand, if using their own chip means they can cause more security back doors, then that could be right, but it still doesn’t make sense.

So far it is a bad PR from America. Imagine some Chinese said :

“Your world is mine, my China is mine.

I can protect my market and none of you can access unless I approve it. Many don’t. Google, movie, ... security you know. But thous should not. you should not use security argument.

Or legal ... Try to sue government in court ... we are now in USA court but thou should not.

We have law on paper all Chinese are our spy. You should not.

You should free trade and you should not use national security or tariff like us.

As your song said Imagine there is no country ... I would not buy you should.


Can we just use one yardstick. And not just make China great again.

Btw have time read about hk extradition law.

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