By Jiang Xisheng
Sweden’s telecom regulator, PTS, recently excluded the country’s operators from using Huawei equipment in their 5G networks, justifying the action by saying that any vendor based in China posed an automatic threat to Swedish national security.
Such misconceptions could prevent Swedish households and businesses from enjoying the benefits of Huawei’s innovation. Unfortunately, they are reinforced by the press. For example, an editorial column published in Dagens Industri on November 10 suggests, “China should open Huawei for foreign ownership” . This recommendation, while undoubtedly well-intentioned, displays a profound misunderstanding of how our company is structured and managed.
Huawei was founded in 1987, and I joined in Huawei in 1989. Back then banks were reluctant to lend money to small start-up companies. Huawei had to raise capital by selling shares to employees, an arrangement that continues to this day. Employees buy shares with their own money, and receive annual dividends based on the number of shares they hold. They also elect members to form a Representatives’ Commission on a one-vote-per-share basis. The Commission elects the company’s Board of Directors. Such a profit- and risk-sharing system provides Huawei with the funds it needs for long-term growth and lays the foundations for its governance and management.
Being privately held frees Huawei from the short-term pressures faced by publicly listed companies, whose shareholders expect them to meet quarterly earnings targets. Liberated from such external pressures, Huawei can maintain its long-term focus on research and development, while shareholding employees can reap higher rewards.
Currently, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei holds about 1% stake of Huawei; the rest is held by Huawei’s union, the platform through which employees own the company. It is common and legitimate for companies in China to set up trade unions to serve as their shareholding platforms. Although the media likes to describe this arrangement as opaque, it is actually not so different from what one finds at employee-owned companies elsewhere in the world, including John Lewis Partnership (a department store group in the UK) and Essilor (a French-based international ophthalmic optics company).
In fact, our ownership structure is embraced by many Swedish companies today. Last year’s European company Survey, shows 11% of all companies in Sweden’s private sector have employee share ownership schemes – more than double the European average. Perhaps the model appeals to Sweden’s egalitarian sensibilities: Employees are paid differently based on the work they do, but there is a transparent profit-sharing mechanism in place. People feel empowered, care about the quality of their work, and continually think about ways to improve the business. Some European experts have concluded that Huawei is implementing “employee capitalism.”
Detractors allege that we became a global leader through government support. In fact, the company has succeeded for the opposite reason: we operate independently and follow the logic of business, not politics. From its inception in 1987 until the early 2000s, Huawei competed with Chinese state-owned enterprises, many of which later shrank to insignificance or disappeared completely. This result should not surprise capitalists, who understand that in most cases, state-owned or -controlled companies tend to lose their competitiveness due to bureaucracy and low efficiency. This is particularly true in the high-tech industry. Why has China’s tech industry developed so fast and so well? Perhaps in part because, since the 1980s, China has opened its market to, and provided a level playing field for, companies such as Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, and other foreign companies.
The PTS statement reminded me of China’s period of political turmoil in the 1960s and 1970s. Because my family were classified as landowners, I almost missed the chance to attend university. I hope the PTS can perform an objective, fair, and fact-based assessment, and make decisions that will benefit the whole of Sweden. Huawei’s door is always open for Swedish politicians, researchers, journalists, and others to visit company facilities and its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Room, and exchange ideas about the system the company has built over the past three decades.
In the meantime, the facts remain unchanged: No government entity dictates Huawei’s business or investment decisions, and no one owns Huawei but Huawei’s employees.
Jiang Xisheng is Chief Secretary of the Board at Huawei.
Sampath Bank continues to partner Central Bank on promoting QR payments
Sampath Bank PLC joined hands with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) yet again to raise awareness and increase acceptance and usage of LANKAQR, the common Quick Response (QR) code standard for the country that was introduced in 2020.
Encouraging consumers to adopt LANKAQR for their day to day transactions, Sampath Bank held a 2-day promotional drive at one of Colombo’s latest outdoor dining destinations, Dining Capsule at Baladaksha Mawatha, near Galle Face Green on the 23rd and 24th of January.
Dharmasri Kumaratunga, Director – Payments and Settlements, Central Bank of Sri Lanka; Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC; and Tharaka Ranwala, Head of Operations and Group Chief Marketing Officer, Sampath Bank PLC, took part in the ceremonial launch of this initiative together with other senior representatives.
The Bank offered 25% cash back on payments made with the LANKAQR-enabled Sampath WePay digital payments mobile application at Dunhinda Colombo, Roots, Grand Monarch, Street Wok, Lavinia, Spice Junction, Giovanni’s Pizza al Taglio and BoxBar outlets at the Dining Capsule during this period.
“Offering greater convenience and security, technology continues to transform the way we conduct our day to day transactions. This is becoming increasingly true in Sri Lanka too, where consumers and businesses are actively adopting digital payments,” said Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC. “At Sampath Bank we have always focused on leveraging emerging technologies and delivering market relevant solutions that add value to our customers around the island. In line with this, we are delighted to partner with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on driving the acceptance and usage of LANKAQR.”
“Across Sri Lanka, a growing number of merchants and consumers are getting on board the LANKAQR ecosystem and beginning to appreciate the value offered by QR based payments. We are witnessing this phenomenon with Sampath WePay, the secure, one stop digital wallet from Sampath Bank that allows users to store all types of financial instruments from any bank and carry out a wide range of real-time online transactions.
Taking cashless transactions across the country
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka in coordination with leading financial institutions and telcos in the country set in motion the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ promotional campaign with a monumental event on January, 23. The ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ initiative represents the second phase of an island-wide campaign commenced late last year to introduce LANKAQR as the standard for mobile phone and digital payments countrywide, in moving towards a cashless and digitally-savvy society plus greater financial inclusion across Sri Lanka.
Held at Diyatha Uyana, Battaramulla, the event was graced by the Chief Guest, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, State Minister of Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms, Ms. Yvette Fernando, Deputy Governor CBSL and the chairperson of the National Payments Council, D. Kumaratunge, Director Payments and Settlements – CBSL, and Thilak Piyadigama, chairman – CBSL appointed LANKAQR Committee/CEO SDB bank, among other distinguished guests.
The Colombo-leg of the LANKAQR national campaign, drawing on the participation of numerous high-profile guests plus the island’s top banks and financial institutions, aimed to advance the program’s overall vision of promoting digital transactions as the new norm and included city-wide promotions, covering major commercial locations in and around the city.
Developed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, LANKAQR is a common Quick Response (QR) code standard, and its adoption by most major financial institutions in Sri Lanka is a progressive step on the path to Sri Lankans fully embracing a future that is inevitably digital, gradually leading to an entirely cashless mode of transaction.
The LANKAQR system will allow banks, financial institutions and telcos, through their digital payment apps and platforms, to facilitate fast, secure and low cost digital payments to any merchant or service provider. LANKAQR provides customers with a mechanism for payment for all their needs ranging from groceries, healthcare to utilities, and even the purchase of goods from street-side vendors, directly from their bank account through the use of any LANKAQR-compliant mobile payment app.
SLT-MOBITEL gives ‘Power to Your Dreams’ with special connectivity offers
SLT-MOBITEL is all set to launch the ‘Power to Your Dreams – සිහිනයට සවියක්’ campaign to provide the latest connectivity solutions to microbusinesses on the of January, 25 the company announced recently. This program will provide ICT solutions packages encompassing products and services essential for microbusinesses, at maximum affordability.
Understanding the connectivity needs of the microbusiness segment, the promotion provides them solutions that fulfil their requirements. Accordingly, communication, business networking, cloud technology, entertainment & IoT, communications devices and business infrastructure services for various market segments within the microbusiness ecosystem is provided utilising SLT-MOBITEL products and services such as voice & mobile telephony, 4G LTE, SLT Broadband, SLT Fibre and Peo TV services.
Speaking on the planned promotion, Sanjeewa Jayamaha, General Manager – SME Business Development, Sri Lanka Telecom stated, “Microbusinesses are the bedrock of Sri Lanka’s economic activity, supporting day to day transactions for millions of people. It is vitally important that they receive the full benefit of the connectivity solutions offered by the national ICT solutions provider, Sri Lankan Telecom. The brand unification of SLT-MOBITEL means now we can offer a full bouquet of products and services to our clients. This promotion will ensure that microbusinesses from various segments can now access the connectivity solutions most important for their businesses to thrive.”
Microbusinesses operating in entertainment and leisure, fashion and beauty, daily essentials, medical and health care, education, special occasion services, financial services, e-commerce and software development, professional services, construction support and transportation and delivery services will be able to benefit from bespoke packages crafted by SLT-MOBITEL with their specific industry needs taken into consideration.
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