WELL, THIS IS A BIT AWKWARD. Huawei has become the latest victim of the over-confident use of Twitter to make a point.
Completely oblivious (seemingly) to past failures, Huawei's Twitter account tweeted a poll last week, asking "Who do you think owns Huawei?".
The correct answer, by Huawei's terms, is "employees", which is kind-of-sort-of true within the parameters of living in a Communist state. That got 26 per cent of the votes. Other options were 'financial institutions' (17 per cent) and 'consortiums' (15 per cent).
But the runaway winner, with 42 per cent of the 56,790 voted was 'government', showing that there's still a mass of suspicion surrounding the embattled tech company's true proprietors.
In the circumstances, the poll was nothing short of a baller move by Huawei's PR department, given the circumstances. The usual japery ensued, with followers giving more creative answers like "where's the aliens option" and "Winnie-The-Pooh", a reference to Xi Jinping who is 'affectionately' referred to as Pooh by critics.
Huawei has been on a major charm offensive since the White House ban was issued in May this year (keen-eyed viewers may have spotted the new 'Nothing Has Changed' tagline it has been using) but in the last few weeks, it's all been a bit quiet, so why Huawei's people thought it was worth the risk of stirring things up again is a bit bizarre. It presumably thought that its many ardent supporters would save the day. Brave to say the least.
But as others point out, ownership and control are two very different things and even if ‘employees' had won the poll, it would be seen as a distraction to the real issue - is China exercising its influence on Huawei?
The problem is that unless China has a rare act of transparency, we'll never actually know the answer, Twitter poll or no Twitter poll. μ
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