Against all odds, Huawei has emerged out of bloodbath in the mammoth Chinese smartphone market unprecedentedly by achieving a 41% surge whilst its peers including Apple were deeply immersed in the red. Apple is the biggest casualty and plunged 30% followed by Xiomi, Oppo and Vivo respectively.
It is quite evident that Huawei is paving its way for invincible technological force in the world despite severe suppression from USA and its allies.
Founded in the 1980s in rural areas of China it sold cheap telephone switches. Founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei, who is a former engineer in the Chinese army turned Huawei into a technological behemoth with over $ 100 billion revenue as at today. It outspends Apple, Microsoft and Samsung when it comes to R and D and is the front runner in 5G implementation in the world.
Ren, the founder, fosters the military culture since inception. According to him, company culture synonyms to ‘Wolf Culture’ where it inhabits ‘Wolf Spirit’. He wants his employees to be ‘shameless’, ‘be hungry like wolves’ with bloodthirsty nature, fearlessness and resilience to harsh conditions when securing businesses. Further, working culture has been on the spotlight for gruelling overworking, eating and sleeping on the site.
However, wolf culture has helped Huawei to reach the pinnacle of success in almost every business interest ranging from telecom equipment to smartphones to chips, etc. but at the same pace it got itself into trouble as well.
There are so many allegations from committing bank frauds to promote business in Iran as per USA Intelligence and tainted with bribery to win businesses in Africa. Further, it has been accused of copying American competitors’ source code and even stealing the fingertips of a robot in a T-Mobile Lab, etc.
I see some similarities with the culture of Uber when Travis Kalanick was at the helm i.e. Co-founder and former CEO which inhibits take-no-prisoners attitudes. The same way Uber was also inundated with prosecutions and litigation due to growth at any cost model and ultimately it was on its knees before Dara Khosrowshahi took over as new boss.
It is really evident that wolf culture or growth-at-any-cost will nourish the company up to a certain level and beyond that point it will not work and produce the same level of results.
Further, Huawei has been accused of espionage by USA and its allies which seriously impede the 5G development and probably all efforts will go down the drain if they find strong evidence against Huawei.
Moreover, recently Vodafone found some evidence i.e. ‘Hidden backdoors’ in Huawei software as well.
It is crystal clear that so-called ‘Wolf Culture’ must have contributed to a greater extent for all those troubles.
Fortunately, not all Huawei’s eggs are in one basket and diversified. It is already the market leader in 5G implementation and equipment to telcos, etc., within striking distance to overtake Samsung as world no. 1 smartphone company, and when it comes to chips it enjoys the lion’s share along with Samsung in the market.
It is obvious that going forward Huawei must change its culture before it’s too late!