Telecoms network provider Huawei recently took a handful of journalists to its headquarters in Shenzhen, China for a chance to speak to some of the company's executives and check out the scope of the business.
The trip offered an interesting insight into the scale of the firm's operations and a glimpse into some aspects of Chinese culture as well.
Huawei is one of those anomalous companies that most people outside China have never heard of, but almost everyone has used one of its products. For a company with nearly 100,000 employees around the world, the lack of exposure is remarkable.
Most people will recognise Huawei as the maker of mobile broadband dongles, as almost every provider in the UK uses the company's devices with their own branding placed on top.
However, these and the other terminals the company makes are a tiny part of the business, with the core competencies being on the other side of the network.
Huawei develops products for every part of the telecoms network, from designing its own chips to elements of the core network, base stations and the software and services that surround it.
Interestingly, although the company wants to raise its profile outside China, Huawei has no intention of releasing products under its own brand, preferring instead to partner with operators.
Here are some articles from the trip and some comments based on my experience in China:
standard needed for mobile
Comment: For the love of IP
Telefónica taps Huawei for 40Gbit/s transmission network
Comment: A mine of information
Comment: Technology for technology's sake
Huawei pushes fixed-mobile convergence
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