29. August 2015

Huawei Study Tour to China - part 2

First part: Huawei Study Tour to China

When our group arrived in Shanghai around noon on Thursday we were welcomed by our local guide saying "it's only 31 degrees, not so hot today". Ok, lucky us. On the drive to the hotel she gave a short introduction to China and Shanghai; about Mao's cultural revolution she just mentioned something like "nobody is perfect". Ok, life has to go on.

Nevertheless, Shanghai seems to be a very open-minded city. For example, even on the Intl. Airport you can find a shop called Spirit of Tibet, next to all the well known, global, high-end consumer brands.

Shop at Shanghai Intl. Airport

On Friday we visited the R&D Wireless Center of Huawei in Shanghai. The building as such is really impressive: it's about 1000 meters long (as they told us) and 10'000 people are working there. 

Huawei R&D Wireless Center
Huawei R&D Wireless Center

Like in Shenzhen the exhibition is also really impressive, the technology and its applications are being presented very professionally using multimedia booths. The exhibition raised my understanding of upcoming 4.5G and 5G wireless technologies at lot. 4.5G will be available in 2016 and the exhibition presents the new potentials for businesses, e.g., in the areas of controlling drones, mobile HD videos or for the Internet of Things. 

(See also the video by WSJ: Inside Huawei's R&D Center

4.5G and 5G exhibition hall
4.5G and 5G exhibition hall

4.5G and 5G exhibition hall

As recognized in Shenzhen already Huawei is not hesitant to use Online and Social Media services such as Twitter, Facebook or Google services exemplary - as well as the Chinese equivalences - in order to show the potential of their technologies in different application scenarios, despite the fact that some of these services are restricted or blocked in China by the government. 
And even on advertising posters within the Huawei premises social media services such as Facebook and Twitter are mentioned - but not the Chinese equivalents. 

Jack Li
Later Jack Li, VP of the R&D center, gave an overview about R&D at Huawei.
As we learned before already, Jack Li stated that Huawei has a very much customer oriented focus; therefore they apply the so-called ROADS framework which summarizes the main challenges in order to create an optimal service experience for telecoms users: Realtime, On Demand, All in One, DIY, Social. 

In their R&D activities Huawei also pursues Open Innovation approaches, e.g., setting up joint innovation centers with customers such as telecom operators or joint labs in cooperation with universities - but no beyond those activities.

Jack Li mentioned the corporate social responsibility activities at the end of his presentation as well.

Our group then visited the Swiss Consulate in Shanghai that shares their offices with Swissnex China. Here, first Pascal Marmier, CEO of Swissnex China, gave an inspiring presentation of what is Swissnex doing in China. Personally, I really like what and how Swissnex is doing. During a one-week study tour in 2011, I had the pleasure to get to know the Swissnex San Francisco team which has organized a great program for Swiss university representatives in the field of Social Media.

Pascal Marmier,
Swissnex China
Pascal gave a really enthusiastic presentation. Swissnex China pursues a very open strategy applying different open innovation approaches. He's really fascinated by the innovation power and creativity of the Chinese people: "A prototyping nation of >1 billion entrepreneurs". Indeed, if you still think Chinese people are only able to copy you should take a look into the literature, e.g., The Economist or MIT Sloan Management Review; the keyword is Accelerated Innovation.

Among others, Pascal mentioned some project activities Swissnex China is doing or supporting.
For example, they organize innovation camp such as the China Hardware Innovation Camp, CHIC in cooperation with Swiss universities. One of the recent results is a smart baby bottle. During the camp, the technological know-how of the Swiss students and the needs of the Chinese markets were brought together.
They also were co-host of the Lift China 2015.

In the following Anna Mattei Russo, Deputy Consul General, Head of Culture, Media and Education Section at Consulate General of Switzerland in Shanghai, and Fabio Müller, Trade Promotion Director Swiss Business Hub China, a network partner of Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), gave us an insight into their activities about the China - Switzerland relations from 1905 till the FTA of 2014 and How to do Business in China,  including eCommerce.

Challenges doing Business in China

eCommerce Opportunities in China

Finally, Nathan Kaiser, gave us a "highly unstructured presentation" (as he announced) about his experiences in China as a Swiss lawyer supporting Swiss businesses in China.
Some of his learnings from his experiences are: "China is much more diverse than Europe is", and "China is still a communist country, it is organized top down: what is not explicitly allowed is illegal" - "but the emperor is far". He described the country as a highly regulated, bureaucratic economy, and not an open economy. According to Nathan, the law structure is more or less the same as in Switzerland, with one exception: the communist party is above all and rules by law, "they are managing the place". And: "In China everybody cheats everybody". China is a low trust country, but families are a highly trusted environment he said.
And about faking trade marks he mentioned a recent example from China: Somebody in China Has Set Up a Fake Goldman Sachs and Is Doing Business (see also the Bloomberg article)

This concluded a very exciting week in Shenzhen and Shanghai!

Huawei Study Tour to China
Huawei Study Tour to China - part 3

All photos are available under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license

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