FORTUNE -- Gavin Patterson, CEO of British telecom company BT Group (BT), praised China-based Huawei Technologies, a key supplier, for its willingness to collaborate and its innovation in BT's rollout of superfast broadband in the United Kingdom.
"They're a good partner for us; they're very customer focused," said Patterson, in New York this week to announce an audioconferencing joint venture with Dolby Laboratories (DLB). Huawei has been a BT partner since 2005, when it signed a contract to provide equipment for the British phone company's "21CN" (short for 21st century) infrastructure upgrade.
Huawei has been less successful in the United States. Despite its successes with BT and other non-Chinese clients, the company has had trouble winning major contracts in the U.S. because some lawmakers fear Huawei's presence in U.S. networks would leave domestic carriers open to cyber-threats from the Chinese government.
Huawei repeatedly has said its interests are purely commercial, and the company has tried hard to ingratiate itself with Americans, touting its local operations (translation: American jobs) and even sponsoring a Jonas Brothers tour.
Patterson, who became CEO of BT in September, saids he's confident that BT's networks are secure. "The U.K. government tests our network and looks at Huawei and all our equipment manfuacturers, and has given us a strong endorsement," he said.
Huawei has continued to earn his business by being responsive to his network's needs, and for being innovative. He also notes that Huawei giving their products away just to win his business. "They're good value for the money but they're no pushover," he said.
BT's alliances -- with Huawei, Dolby, and others--reflect a widespread willingness on the part of British institutions to team up with non-U.K. partners. During a visit to the U.S. earlier this year British Prime Minister David Cameron told a group of Time Inc. editors that he welcomes international direct investment in the U.K.
"I said to the Chinese Investment Corporation the other day, 'I'm not embarrassed you own 10% of our biggest water company or a big chunk of Heathrow Airport. I think its absolutely great,'" he said.
Patterson speculates that this openness is partly historical, dating back to Britain's golden era and its mercantile roots, and partly a modern response to its economic constraints. "There's a recognition that we're relatively small and if we are going to grow as an economy we have to be open to globalization."
Chinese maker of telecom gear, blocked from U.S. market, seeks to overcome security concerns.
FORTUNE -- Remember that 1995 Alanis Morissette song, "Ironic?" Well, here's another unexpected situation to add to the singer's long list of ironies: Huawei, the Chinese telecom equipment maker that has been blocked from the U.S. market because of concerns about its alleged ties to China's government, is now pushing for global cybersecurity standards.
The company MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - Oct 18, 2013 11:20 AM ET
Tracking the meteoric rise of Lenovo, LG, ZTE, Huawei, Alcatel et al.
FORTUNE -- "How Samsung is beating Apple in China," read the headline on the Reuters newswire Friday. The piece quoted Tim Cook high up describing China as a huge opportunity for Apple "over the arc of time."
"But time looks to be on the side of rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd," the story continued, cleverly using Cook's words against him MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 27, 2013 8:22 AM ET
Huawei can't do much about its Chinese origins or the phobia that comes with it, but there are certain steps it can take to put foreign governments at ease.
By John Foley, Reuters Breakingviews
FORTUNE -- How scary is Huawei? The Chinese telecom equipment maker has met resistance from politicians who fear it could be used as a Trojan horse by the Chinese government.
Most recently a group of UK parliamentarians complained MOREJun 12, 2013 5:00 AM ET
Yes, Ren Zhengfei wields enormous power over the Chinese telecom giant. But the company's management is far more complex.
FORTUNE -- You may have read that Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, has finally broken his media silence. The reclusive CEO gave his first public media briefing in -- of all places -- Wellington, New Zealand, where he addressed security concerns about his company and his involvement in MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - May 9, 2013 1:12 PM ET
Consumer protection? Negative marketing? Negotiating ploy? Payback? Squeeze?
FORTUNE -- The drumbeat hasn't stopped.
Not only has China's Central TV been running regular follow ups to its March 15 expose on Apple's (AAPL) iPhone repair policies, but on Thursday People's Daily -- the Communist Party's official propaganda organ -- attacked the company for the fourth day in a row, devoting half a page to negative articles.
"One reported on a patent infringement suit lodged against Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 28, 2013 2:17 PM ET
In a rare interview, Guo Ping, rotating and acting CEO of China's Huawei, discusses how his powerful company is organized.
FORTUNE -- Huawei's massive presence at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona couldn't be missed. Conference-goers were greeted with the Chinese telecom giant's electronic ads as soon as they stepped off the plane in the Spanish city. The company set up not one but two sprawling booths at the show MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - Feb 28, 2013 11:20 AM ET
China is the world's largest mobile market. Now its manufacturers want a piece of America's consumers.
By Kurt Wagner, reporter
FORTUNE -- It's no secret that China is a hotbed for mobile growth, particularly when it comes to smartphones. In fact, China is currently the top smartphone market in the world, accounting for 26.5% of all smartphone shipments last year, according to IDC. Not surprisingly, the country is home to a MOREFeb 13, 2013 9:00 AM ET
If you're the world's largest company - with nearly $600 billion in market value - getting bigger is a tough challenge. But if Apple can learn how to charm the world's largest population, the possibilities are limitless.
By Bill Powell, editor-at-large
FORTUNE -- Tim Cook, Apple's reserved and soft-spoken CEO, has a tendency to wax euphoric about the China market and his company's place in it.
When asked last year by an MOREFortune Editors - Oct 11, 2012 5:00 AM ET
Slipping in a market Tim Cook identified as "an area of enormous opportunity"
There's a nugget of unanchored news in a report Reuters filed Friday.
"In the third quarter," wrote Lee Chyen Yee, "Huawei overtook Apple as the No.3 smartphone vendor in China."
Without identifying its source or specifying market shares, Reuters reported that Apple (AAPL) now trails Nokia (NOK), Samsung and Huawei, companies it characterized as more "nimble" and "flexible" than Apple.
"Nimble" is MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 17, 2011 4:37 PM ET
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