LIVE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL ANALYST SUMMIT 2014: Huawei’s consumer devices business will take “a different line to other companies”, looking to word-of-mouth recommendations to counter the massive advertising campaigns undertaken by rivals such as Samsung and Apple, Eric Xu, rotating CEO of the Chinese infrastructure giant, said.
In order to do this, the company needs to be “really customer-centric”, and to become a “lovable and trusted brand”. When questioned on how wise this is in a market which has seen players such as HTC acknowledging that weakness in marketing has impacted sales, the executive observed: “Only results can tell”.
Acknowledging that maintaining a consumer unit in a company that is dominated by its operator network infrastructure business (which contributes around 70 per cent of total company revenue) is “a very big challenge from a management sense”, Xu also played down speculation of disquiet within the company about the devices unit.
Noting a recent visit to the division by founder Ren Zhengfei, the executive said: “We don’t think there are problems with our strategy for devices. Actually, our strategy for the terminal business has been set and determined in one of our executive meetings. I believe there will be no major changes to that strategy moving forwards.”
“The key idea of Mr Ren’s speech to the terminal team was to further emphasise that our device business has to be taken on its own road. Simply because we had some concerns that the consumer business group may not be as down-to-earth as it could be, because of the success it achieved last year,” he continued.