Tonight on the TV show "60 Minutes" it took less than 15 minutes for them on national TV to torpedo Huawei in the United States. For those who would like to see the entire script, it can be viewed here on the 60 Minutes website. But let's not forget that CNBC took on Huawei and the security, espionage risk that the United State government sees a few months ago. That video can be viewed here on the CNBC website.
Many people in the technology industry knew what had been going on all the way back to rise and fall of Nortel, which was discussed on the CNBC TV show in great detail, how Huawei's rise was at the expense of Nortel. Many say that Huawei stole everything from Nortel.
Folklore within the routing and switching community was that Huawei stole router product secrets from Cisco, down to the chassis, IOS and all the way down to the spelling errors in the manuals. Many have said it for years, but 60 Minutes put it on worldwide television tonight for everyone to know. Cisco did file suit and it was settled out of court, so we will never know what really happened. But Huawei did it, they know it, we know and Cisco knows it. Otherwise they would have never settled the court case.
Motorola made the same claim against Huawei but it was for recruiting employees to steal company secrets. They also took Huawei to court and that was also settled out of court. So everyone is seeing the pattern here with Huawei.
Now on Monday the Government House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence final report is due. It is not expected that Huawei will be a big fan of theirs or the report. It could be a death blow for Huawei with any enterprise customer in the United States.
So where does this leave Huawei with in the United States when you have a sitting Congressmen in Mike Rogers saying this?
"If I were an American company today, and I'll tell you this as the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and you are looking at Huawei, I would find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property, if you care about your consumers' privacy, and you care about the national security of the United States of America," Mike Rogers said on 60 Minutes.
It leaves them with a huge whole to dig themselves out of, and the vice president of Huawei for the United States Bill Plummer did them no help. It seemed he was afraid to answer any questions openly and honestly as an American. He was of course more worried about his job with Huawei, a Chinese company. He had that "deer in the headlights look" that you could not miss. You were just waiting for Plummer to give a straight answer, but he could not. He was trying to be as politically correct on television and not make it look like he could not answer the questions.
As I have been saying for a while now, any company who buys Huawei in the United State of America is just asking for trouble. Also, if Huawei thinks they will gain more market share in the United States after the government report is published Monday they are sadly mistaken. A CEO or CFO of a company is not going to take the chance that the Chinese Government could somehow get ahold of their intellectual property by using Huawei products.
But at the moment we have three companies to blame for Huawei even being in the United States. Nortel, for not realizing what was going on and going to the Canadian Government, and Cisco Systems and Motorola, both of which should have never settled out of court with Huawei. Both should have gone to court and shown that Huawei stole intellectual property and they were recruiting employees to steal secrets.
Huawei might have impressive sales, be hiring in the United States, but out of the 40 CEOs I sent an email to before writing this article, none said they would even let them in the door.
10/08/2012 Update: Updated links from Monday in the News