Seven lessons Huawei has learned after taking notes since 2018 heights of trade wars

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1. Nokia based out of Finland, Inherently weak national base market compared to United States, including lack of backing on the software from Redmond, near Washington DC capital city, in the United States while they backed both Mountain View the most popular operating system next to the second most popular, Cupertino, both out of California, the direct hub of high tech of Big Tech market and influence through a powerful perception against an outdated “90s monopolistic Redmond” as a “relic” to 2010s mainstream developer community. Thus, the lack of influence on market shift and demands. With weak supply chain hardware, relying on outsourcing from China to weak supply chain software relying outsourcing to US. Where as a Chinese company, is inherently strong in market influence shifts like United States in Big Tech with supply chain but bigger scale from China side. Huawei sitting on a goldmine. Predecessors are not, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, HP, Palm, Blackberry, Mozilla, Amazon etc. This will make Google, Meta fear not to miss out it’s future of survival in order to stay highly competitive in the internet services sector where China’s large market influence on this earth is too huge and too critical to ignore global HarmonyOS presence when rising and highly competitive Chinese companies such as Huawei itself, ByteDance and Tencent, among others are hitting global markets rapidly in penetration in software internet services overtime in the long term when it comes to social media, entertainment, education, productivity suites, essential software services, gaming etc. etc.

2. Failure of Microsoft charging Windows Phone fee for OEMs and then at the same time giving favourability to one vendor cannibalising sales for two years and on top of them assault OEMs on windows phone, by buying Nokia phone division to compete against them on their own OS, put them in downward trajectory. Instead of curving out your own ecosystem with your own OS separated and isolated from other vendors doing business on your vendor friendly platform. Replicating PC strategy didn’t work, it may have worked somewhat for Microsoft Surface but not Nokia-Microsoft Lumia. The insult on top was the fee charges on developers from the beginning, $99/ a year with 30% cut, that overtime was dropped in a time of decline for Microsoft and when Microsoft solely focused on desktop today with Windows 11, post-Windows 8-10 UWP era where the company mobile ecology has been written out as defeat to Silicon Valley led duopoly mobile OS market of Google and Apple.

OpenHarmony – Open source competitor to AOSP, Linux, freeBSD, freeRTOS, Unix etc.

3. Didn’t use the power of open source by gathering strong open source community of Linux and Android. Didn’t spun off Windows Phone for multi vendors and leaving solo WP Lumia OS/ROM software version for Microsoft/Nokia exclusivity with interoperability and compatibility with bigger multivendor mobile OS. However, it’s corporate traditional culture infused into it causing failure. Huawei did the opposite, what may perceives as open source OpenHarmony used to “only spur Huawei development leaving its open source in the dust”. No, the long game is to lead and establish an Chinese mainstream alternative and open source community version follows it for the industry without baggage of being a B2B platform provider for vendors. Instead an inherited B2C platform for customers by splitting branches and not putting it all eggs in one basket nor one size fits all. Avoiding Market cannibalization or cannibalism. This will be the challenger for Google in the long term over it’s Chinese OEMs splitting off, creating demand for software self development with their own operating systems, with some build their own operating systems on top of Chinese OpenAtom led OpenHarmony and Eclipse Foundation led OpenHarmony-based Oniro OS that is proven by Huawei in practice with HarmonyOS NEXT, where OEMs and third party store providers from China and global in the future may share compatibility and interoperability of native HarmonyOS applications with each other devices through seamless sharing transmission via DSoftBus technology via OpenHarmony user mode, challenging the status quo of dominant saturated Android apps market across alternative OEMs store providers. Leaving developers to only write three mobile platforms available in 2024 such as iOS, Android with HarmonyOS/OpenHarmony write once run everywhere strategy at a larger scale than previous attempts, e.g. Microsoft Universal Windows platform back in 2010s and Oracle’s Java in the 1990s with HAP being the standard file app system for non-OpenHarmony based operating systems on Linux, AOSP alongside DSoftBus technology with NearLink it has built for industry, consortium.

4. Saturated markets of no growth area blocked by closed components was a wake up call for Huawei on locked down GMS trying to survive under Inevitably demised AOSP with unhealthy maintenance of updates and apps workarounds on a third party controlled ecosystem that should be provided by Huawei and its third party providers on their own platform. Leaving open source OpenHarmony is the company way out long term for taking back control with trusted Chinese and global partners from Google monopoly in final apex level. With self app development on HAP/APP files over Google controlled APK files of Android platform. By leading it commercially as well as leaving it open for their party store vendors and developers with open source.

5. Never brag with ego to “Kill Apple” or laugh at “Apple”, that’s really cringey in strategy – Founder, Ren Zhengfei being humble in nature, coming from humble beginnings never boast Huawei being superior to Android OEMs or any OEM, that includes APPLE. CEO of Huawei been telling media that it hopes Chinese competitors beat them like Honor and Apple is their teacher. Big mistake of overconfidence leads to ego from Nokia and Microsoft own downfall selling Lumia and Windows Phone software in 2007-2013. Former Microsoft CEO laughed at iPhone and its price, thinking it would fail, leaving Microsoft to copy Apple formula 3 years later with WP7 late in its downfall spiral post 2007. As well as former Nokia CEO desperately selling Lumia in March 2013 by laughing at Apple, dropping iPhone to the ground, 6 months later Nokia phone division sold off to Microsoft after Redmond mole kept dragging Nokia down for inevitable Windows Phone decline. Leave the bragging and ego-ness to the tech community of fanboys and centric media only.

Microsoft/Nokia mentality of 2007-2013

vs Huawei 2018-present

6. Never leave tech trends late, keep up to date. Take notes of your teacher. Huawei CEO said Apple is their teacher, and they learn and best their game in the premium phone market as evidenced from Huawei’s peak on Android before complete US ban on global supply chain in 2018-2020.

7. Using the best of both worlds for large scale taking advantage of its powerhouse market export strength using horizontal business as a platform initiator for others in the industry as well as its own direct vertical integrated software/hardware business to maximize the presence of HarmonyOS as a viable player in mobile core ecology using IoT, edge computing and on-device AI Strategy in 2024. Something HP Palm, Motorola-Google, Nokia-Microsoft, Blackberry failed to take this different approach of using vision with purpose at scale, install all using same lame approach of closed wall gardens to target Apple as hardware mono vendor or mono vendor-like (Nokia-MS 2011-2013, Motorola Mobility-Google 2012-2014) instead of selling the platform.

Seven formulas of wins for the long game over failure with shortcuts and short term thinking. In not just securing itself with increased domestic supply chain on hardware chips, components as well as software side in terms of rapid output increases. But also these marketing and business strategies to win the consumer market game as a strong global mainstream consumer brand out of China next to Apple dubbed as China’s direct answer to Apple as a vertically integrated business, and other companies like Nvidia, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Meta all combined in one as a platform holder. Huawei sees itself since 2018, as a software company, as a tech company overall over just being a mere hardware company and phone OEM selling phones, any old Android phones.