- File Size: 172 KB
- Print Length: 89 pages
- Publisher: Wolf Group Asia (April 6, 2012)
- Publication Date: April 6, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007SEZMRM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,063,734 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Making the Connection: The Peaceful Rise of China's Telecommunications Giants Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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This is unfortunate, since the Chinese vendors' growth rate is undeniable, and there are some fascinating stories that could be told on this subject. For example, exactly, have Huawei and ZTE managed to produce products that are "good enough" sell them at such low prices -- profitably? (Are they even profitable?) How can they engage in hyper-customization in an industry that, historically, was critically dependent on hyper-commoditization? Do the Chinese telecom vendors represent the first concrete example of foreign companies having helped create the monsters that come back to destroy them?
Alas, Mr. Wolf hardly acknowledges the role of foreigners in the rise of the Chinese vendors. While joint ventures (JVs) are discussed, Mr. Wolf does not describe how JVs were all but mandatory for foreigners to enter the Chinese market, much less that the terms of the JV (and, indeed, many other telecom-related agreements) invariably mandated "technology transfer", i.e., "teach us how to build what you're selling to us". The "Chinese" TD-SCDMA cellular standard was authored almost entirely by Siemens. But Mr. Wolf paints a picture of the local vendors' having stood up essentially via their own chutzpah. This is a rather rosy characterization.
A good portion of the work is dedicated to arcane (but interesting, if you're from the industry, which I am) aspects of the evolution from the very beginning of telecommunications in China: the networks and operators thereof, the regulators, and the equipment manufacturers. But, distant history aside, the narrative seems to be based almost entirely on information that's publicly available -- or at least common knowledge amongst industry observers -- as opposed to primary research collected through on-the-ground interviews with insiders. A bit more first-hand accounting of how these companies (and their foreign competitors) think and operate would have been welcome. But the occasionally-distracting punctuation and other editorial errors would seem to imply a rush to publication.
Mr. Wolf states that while the work was funded in part by Huawei, the company did not exercise any editorial control over the final product. I have no doubt that this is genuine. But it doesn't take a PhD in psychology to conclude that there was a strong disincentive to level any serious criticisms against that company, as one does not bite the hand that feeds. This is especially true of Mr. Wolf, who, as PR man, is more dependent than most on his personal reputation amongst companies in China. Amusingly, even the well-known case in which Huawei pilfered Cisco software source code and used the code in its own products -- which was proved in court -- is characterized as "alleged".