China’s Huawei Technologies Aims Big in Smartphone Market
Written by: Archibald Preuschat and Juro Osawa
Blog by: Craig M. Banner
Huawei Technologies is currently the largest provider of smartphones in China and occupies the third-largest market share of cellular telecommunications products across the world. Huawei is seeking to further expand its influence by aggressively establishing its brand within the United States. The company plans to strategically release its flagship model, the Mate 9 smartphone, in the United States on the heels of Samsung’s disastrous Galaxy Note 7 recall. The company’s plans are ambitious, as they plan to emulate the growth model that has proved to be successful in several other continents to outpace Samsung and Apple over the next five years. Huawei has increasingly shifted to more upscale versions of its smartphones as it has gained market share and expects to benefit from stagnated growth across its global competitors. While Huawei is still primarily perceived from a cost leadership standpoint in terms of value, the company’s associated telecommunications products, such as handsets, are rapidly gaining popularity among its consumers. The company’s increased use of digital mediums to market its devices are also proving to be popular among consumers who prefer to purchase their smartphones through third-party vendors. While the company remains ambitious, Huawei acknowledges that it must build trust and recognition of its brand across consumers within the United States.
While Huawei undoubtedly possesses a unique opportunity to increase its market share, it must do so with a precise understanding and awareness of the American consumer’s tastes and preferences. Consumers across the United States generally require a great degree of trust from companies before making purchasing decisions regarding smartphones. Because of this, Huawei must ensure that it conducts an appropriate level of analysis to market their products accordingly. Huawei must ensure that they select sales force personnel that are attuned to the cultural sensitivities of the United States market. These personnel must be able to understand and explain the technical specifications of their products and ensure that they comply with the laws of the United States. This may be difficult to accomplish, as there are currently regulations within the United States government that prevent many Chinese products from being sold. Hiring American citizens may alleviate some of the concerns surrounding these laws and regulations, as they can seek to influence and transcend various cultural and legal barriers. Huawei employees that are hired with the express purpose of increasing market share within the United States must also have a precise indication of what is required from the company’s senior management, particularly since the company’s organizational structure primarily resides in China. Finally, Huawei’s employees must possess the maturity, emotional stability, and flexibility that is required to operate successfully from a decentralized role within a foreign country.