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Making the Connection: The Peaceful Rise of China's Telecommunications Giants by [Wolf, David]
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Making the Connection: The Peaceful Rise of China's Telecommunications Giants Kindle Edition

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Length: 88 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 238 KB
  • Print Length: 88 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
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,598,553 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By David Boettger on April 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
David Wolf, in this "monograph" as he terms it, apparently set out with specific purpose of proving that innovation -- not government support -- is the source of Chinese telecom equipment vendors' success. Presumably this is a reaction to foreign complaints that Huawei and ZTE are only successful because they've been coddled by the Chinese government. This premise might (might) be accurate, but unfortunately Mr. Wolf doesn't quite make his case. The Chinese government hindered rather than aided the rise of Huawei and ZTE, according to Mr. Wolf, though without much justification and using a very narrow definition of the term "aid". He re-defines "innovation" as being a sort of hyper-customization and then declares it, again without much supporting evidence, to be the reason for Huawei's success. And he mostly sidesteps the role that shockingly low prices have played in the Chinese vendors' international success -- prices that aroused the suspicion about the companies in the first place.

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.
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