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The Huawei Model

The Rise of China's Technology Giant

Understanding Huawei's march onto the global scene

In 2019, the United States' trade war with China expanded to blacklist the Chinese tech titan Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. The resulting attention showed the information and communications technology (ICT) firm entwined with China's political-economic transformation. But the question remained: why does Huawei matter?

Yun Wen uses the Huawei story as a microcosm to understand China's evolving digital economy and the global rise of the nation's corporate power. Rejecting the idea of the transnational corporation as a static institution, she explains Huawei's formation and restructuring as a historical process replete with contradictions and complex consequences. She places Huawei within the international political economic framework to capture the dynamics of power structure and social relations underlying corporate China's globalization. As she explores the contradictions of Huawei's development, she also shows the ICT firm's complicated interactions with other political-economic forces.

Comprehensive and timely, The Huawei Model offers an essential analysis of China's dynamic development of digital economy and the global technology powerhouse at its core.

“Finally, there is a systematic analysis of Huawei, China's leading tech giant. Yun Wen's account is comprehensive, rigorous, and truly global spanning both the South and the North. Definitely a must-read.”--Jack Linchuan Qiu, author of Goodbye iSlave: A Manifesto for Digital Abolition

"The well-organized approach, including the discussions of overseas investment and labor practices, presents unique findings, and adds to our knowledge not only of Huawei's path, but also of Chinese private company dynamics in broader terms. The primary source material, especially the author interviews with Huawei and other Chinese corporate officials, adds a valuable dimension to our understanding of the company's development."--Eric Harwit, author of China's Telecommunications Revolution


Yun Wen is a senior economist at an economic policy research firm in Vancouver, Canada.

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