back to article Huawei CEO hopes to woo foreign boffins to work on 6G in Shanghai campus that feels just like home

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei told an internal company meeting his mega-corp must focus early on 6G to avoid being restrained by patents – and it will seek international talent to achieve that. “Our study of 6G is to take precautions and seize the patent position. We must not wait until 6G is really useful, as we are …

  1. Geez Money

    Reality check time

    Their government has recently gone to cold war with every Western nation and is snatching foreigners off the streets based on their country of origin to use as leverage. How exactly do they plan to attract the sort of talent that has lucrative options at home and abroad everywhere that isn't China? Surely anyone with a Canadian, Australian or other Commonwealth passport is out, and the Guardian was recently reporting that the xenophobia being stoked by the government has led to regular violence against non-Chinese of all stripes in the streets. Now they turn around and say our bad we need you guys to help us monopolize technology to help feed that government.

    Crazy part is they're probably far enough up their own asses to not see the issue. After all it benefits them, what else would anyone care about but China's benefit, even China's enemies. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reality check time

      "Their government has recently gone to cold war with every Western nation"

      Citation needed. I haven't noticed China sanctioning any western companies, but have seen plenty of traffic the other way. And the only sanctions imposed on individuals were retaliatory.

      Equally I haven't experienced xenophobia when visiting - in some areas a foreigner is treated as a novelty, but not with hostility.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reality check time

        You're not paying attention.

        First, foreign companies can't operate in China without a local "partner" company. There have been MANY cases recently with small companies where that "partner" has simply locked out the foreign company and taken over the business in China. Foreigners have virtually zero access to Chinese courts, and even when they can get into court, judges will side with locals virtually every time.

        "I visited China and didn't have a problem" - Sure. You were there as a tourist, and didn't do anything to offend the fascist government while you were there. They're not really targeting tourists... yet.

        And of course happy tourists help distract from the concentration camps where they're holding a million+ Uyghurs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Reality check time

          Nope, not a tourist. I go to China on business - I have spent 4 weeks a year there for the last 15 years. As I'm visiting multiple suppliers, I travel unescorted and use public transport most of the time.

          My mandarin is at HSK level 3 - I won't be writing literature, but it's good enough to understand what is being said around me.

          As I said, I've never met with hostility. Even when visiting places the British burned down on earlier visits.

          Now let's hear your direct experience of China?

    2. PhilipN Silver badge

      Cognitive dissonance is a bitch

      You said it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reality check time

      The Mongols in their heyday slaughtered the rulers and the armies of the territories they invaded, but generally spared and welcomed craftsmen, artists, and some religious people. Craftsmen obviously because they had the chops to make the Mongols more powerful, artists, and religious people because the Mongol elite appreciated aesthetic beauty and had intellectual curiosity.

      An interesting account of a debate sponsored by Mongke Khan in 1254 between Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. A passage discussing it from " Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" can be found at "Linguistic wrestling in the Mongol court" upenn dot edu.

      > Mongke Khan ordered them to debate before three judges: a Christian, a Muslim, and a Buddhist. A large audience assembled to watch the affair, which began with great seriousness and formality. An official laid down the strict rules by which Mongke wanted the debate to proceed: on pain of death “no one shall dare to speak words of contention.” ...

      > Their debate ranged back and forth over the topics of evil versus good, God’s nature, what happens to the souls of animals, the existence of reincarnation, and whether God had created evil. As they debated, the clerics formed shifting coalitions among the various religions according to the topic. Between each round of wrestling, Mongol athletes would drink fermented mare’s milk; in keeping with that tradition, after each round of the debate, the learned men paused to drink deeply in preparation for the next match. ...

      > No side seemed to convince the other of anything. Finally, as the effects of the alcohol became stronger, the Christians gave up trying to persuade anyone with logical arguments, and resorted to singing. The Muslims, who did not sing, responded by loudly reciting the Koran in an effort to drown out the Christians, and the Buddhists retreated into silent meditation. At the end of the debate, unable to convert or kill one another, they concluded the way most Mongol celebrations concluded, with everyone simply too drunk to continue.

      Conclusion: Things have gone terribly downhill since the Mongols, and the CCP won't hold a candle to that history. However, the CCP will welcome technologists who serves their purpose. Senior engineers pushed out by marketing/finance to lower costs and to be replaced by outsourcing may be tempted. It's a fact the China already picks up many senior engineers from Taiwan, Japan, and Korea, offering a second life and welcome income.

  2. sanmigueelbeer

    Here's an idea: Let the PRoC (and Huawei) pursue, R&D and produce 6G and the west come up with 6.1G or 7G as an alternative instead.

    There are handsets that are GSM and CDMA standards. It has been done. It can be done.

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      I read the goals for 6G and China can keep it. For the foreseeable future, the only thing that matters is coverage cost. Sub-6 5G modulation was rapidly deployed because it helps with range and spectrum efficiency. The other fancy features are pretty much unseen.

  3. Mark Exclamation

    Play the game the way the Chinese do: just ignore or steal any Chinese patents. Simples.

    And the detention of foreigners by the Chinese political system is a real and genuine threat. I certainly would never visit or work in China.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      *This*, the risk is tit for tat. US, UK, Canada, Australia... people are all vunerable to tit-for-tat retailiation.

      Brits in particular, given that HSBC op that the UK ran. Clearly if that shit doesn't end they will ramp up the tit-for-tat, that is a risk, don't risk it.

      On the other hand, look at the Chinese AI researchers arrested in the USA for "stealing secrets"..... he had the control panel for the AI that *HE*DESIGNED* on his laptop while visiting home FFS. He could have designed that in China, and people like him probably will now.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      You obviously haven't been keeping up: Huawei and others are already actively involved in LTE (4G + 5G), WiFi 5 + 6 and everyone is using their stuff in parts of their networks: we already can't do 6G without them.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "... ignore or steal any Chinese patents."

      You can absolutely use anything described by a Chinese patent today with no repercussions, as long as you don't try to make, sell, import, use or profit from it in China. That's what a Chinese patent protects against. It's a Chinese-government-granted monopoly to permit the owner to stop others exploiting their invention. It only applies in China.

      Of course, if the Chinese company got a US, or European, or [insert your country's name here] patent at the same time as they got the Chinese one? Then they will sue you for infringing that patent, not the Chinese one. That's how the patent system works.

      Patents last for 20 years. 20 years ago a lot of Western companies didn't bother to get a Chinese patent when they invented something. Then they started manufacturing and selling in China, and discovered they weren't protected. Perhaps the fix was not to ship their crown jewels (production equipment, know-how, etc.) to a country where they had no patent protection? But that wouldn't have boosted the share price, so...

      1. Geez Money

        Re: "... ignore or steal any Chinese patents."

        This is highly inaccurate on several fronts. China didn't even have a concept of IP until the 90s and no real mechanisms for enforcements until the 00s. Even today Chinese patents are basically worthless because investigation relies on going through local officials who are owned by the patent violators and will actively impede investigations.

        Historically even when they do enforce something the enforcements against Chinese for foreign-owned copyright and patents are a joke. For instance the fine for producing 650,000 counterfeit copies of Windows was famously $250. No, not per item.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thailand a better option

    They should create an R&D center in Thailand.

    Much better lifestyle, / Low (0% to 15%) tax rate for researchers now* / Modern Economy / Modern Infrastructure / Not-overinflated= cheap living costs / Builds positive ties to wider Asia / Thailand has a general positive view of China / Well connected hub / lots of tourism things to make life fun / wider trust from researchers as safe place to live.

    Thailand is already buying submarines from China, so they're clearly not in war mentality.

    I mean Thailand cannot compete with the Oxford Botanical Garden, and its tobacco plant, but there is Nong Nooch world renouned mega-garden, complete with its new Dinosaur Park.

    And we cannot compete with the museum in which a AZ-vaccine was designed and its historic pamphlets, but then again, Chula got sick of waiting for your fooking vaccines and has its now in Phase III trials, I'm sure they'll make a museum for it "first Thai designed RNA vaccine for Covid", if that's your thing.

    And you know, BBQ's on tropical beaches, music, night life, partying, fun, events, markets, culture, rafting, excitement, weather, island trips, snorlking, ...

    * They've just done a new rule for that, a nice easy visa, nice low taxes, specifically structured to researchers. Rich buggers could always retire in Thailand tax free anyway, global income is tax free in Thailand just as long as its not remitted to Thailand in the same year it was earned, so its always been a nice place for rich people to retire. They've simply made it nice for "Digital-Nomads and Tech-Researchers by eliminating the visa barrier for those.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Thailand a better option

      They will probably continue to have multiple campuses but they generally need them to be close to major markets because this helps with certification: big one here in Germany.

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