Huawei is an example of China moving up the IT food chain. There is Silicon Valley-style campus, a training center designed by British architect Norman Foster and a huge showroom packed with gee whiz electronics.
Ross Gan, Huawei’s head of corporate communications, said, "The campus shows we are trying to look like an international company."
Huawei, which was founded just 21 years ago by a former People’s Liberation Army engineer, is the kind of company China is encouraging as it shifts its economy from being the world’s workshop to a creator of genuine global brands. It is a major move away from the traditional growth pattern.
Npw ot has gained a new foothold in the United States, a market where it has had difficulty getting established after signing a deal to supply WiMax equipment to the Clearwire group.
Clearwire currently operates WiMax networks in four US markets, and plans to expand to 80 markets by the end of 2010.
Wang Yang, Guangdong Province’s Communist Party chief, told foreign reporters on a recent visit, "The financial crisis has shown that our traditional growth pattern is very fragile."
Another company trying to move up the value chain is BYD, a Shenzhen-based battery company that has turned its attention to electric and hybrid cars.
Formed in 1995, the company has enjoyed huge success providing batteries for mobile phones. Now BYD — which stands for Build Your Dreams — is harnessing its battery expertise to outmanoeuver established carmakers, and create vehicles with fewer emissions.
While most electric cars only have a range of around 160 kilometers (100 miles), BYD says its electric models will be able to travel 400 kilometers on a single charge. A sample is shown in our illustration.
The annual Fortune magazine list of the world’s top 500 companies by revenue this year included a record 34 mainland Chinese firms. However, all of them were state-owned and operating in often restricted markets or monopolies.
AFP reported that Xu Yan, an associate professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s business school, said the protected or monopoly-controlling state-owned behemoths have prevented China from developing new brands in some sectors.
"Many hi-tech companies, like Huawei, cannot survive if they do not innovate and they realise they can no longer just offer a low price."