Achieving a Global Reach with a Local Perspective

ByMichael Dortch

February 13, 2020

Michael Dortch

Recently, three colleagues and I visited Huawei headquarters for two weeks. While there, we were called upon to divide into teams of two and take on opposite sides of a timely, pertinent debate question: Has globalization benefited the world?

Two of the team got to debate in favor of globalization, while myself and another colleague represented those opposed to it. Amazingly, based on audience votes, we bested our pro-globalization colleagues.

How? By arguing that the central question is a bit misguided. After all, as Huawei employees, we and some 190,000 other people around the world are direct beneficiaries of globalization.

So we offered an alternative central question: Have the benefits of globalization been worth the costs?

A Global Outlook

Those in favor of globalization tend to promote globalization’s benefits, while minimizing discussion and analysis of its true costs and their effects. Those against globalization tend to argue that its negative economic, social, cultural, and environmental effects are largely and unfairly borne by the poor, the disenfranchised, and the unempowered. Yet it is globalization that has provided many of those with opportunities to improve their lives. For example, providing Internet access to remote communities opens up the rest of the world, brings global knowledge and ICT resources, and yields much greater opportunities in terms of business as well as health and education. And that’s not just in emerging economies – it holds true for the US and Canada.

Read more: TECH4ALL Connecting Canada’s Far North: See You Online

The Costs

Robert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute has estimated that globalization has caused more than 45,000 US factories to close or move offshore. He adds that more than 3 million jobs, including some 2.4 million manufacturing jobs, have gone to China. Another nearly 900,000 have moved to Japan, and nearly 700,000 to Mexico. All this, he argues, is due to trade wars and wage differences. At the same time, globalization has helped to raise wages and expand worker options in the countries to which those factories and jobs have moved. It has also lowered costs, prices, and purchasing options for consumers and companies around the world.

This apparent contradiction was at the core of our winning argument. Globalization is like any other transformative force, from fire and water to modern technologies. They can help, hurt, or do both, depending upon how they are implemented and deployed.

Fortunately, Huawei leadership has long understood the double-edged potential of global growth, and developed a balanced, optimized approach. You will sometimes hear Huawei people refer to this approach as “glocalization.” Huawei’s goal is to develop an industry and ecosystem in which every active participant can succeed, wherever they are. In addition, the company’s people take pride in being responsible local corporate citizens. This means respecting local laws, customs, and cultures, and supporting local community organizations and programs making a positive difference in the lives of local people.

Huawei does business in more than 170 countries. This global footprint means more than 170 opportunities to support and empower local companies and communities, and to learn important lessons from them. These 170-plus bi-directional channels deliver benefits to the localities in which we operate, and to Huawei as an organization. The various projects we’ve undertaken with local non-profits and other organizations under our TECH4ALL initiative are just some of the positive results of these connections.

Our worldwide reach also means 170 governments are watching Huawei closely to ensure our offerings violate no local laws and meet local cybersecurity requirements. Huawei’s growth and success around the world enable a constantly evolving and improving balance between central and local management activities and processes.

As both debate teams agreed, the trend toward globalization is likely impossible to stop. And as Huawei and other global companies demonstrate every day, globalization can deliver significant benefits. However, it can and must be better managed, with more attention paid to mitigating its negative effects and sharing its benefits more broadly and fairly. Huawei is striving to achieve these goals, in partnership with workers, communities, governments, and organizations across the globe.

Leave us a comment below: What’s your opinion on globalization?

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

2 thoughts on “Achieving a Global Reach with a Local Perspective

  1. Globalization has made the Government have near absolute control, subduing the population with educational opportunity. As individuals in the advanced futuristic Canada learn about self-Governance , self determination and their cultural back-arounds. I believe Canada will transition to a country designated to all peoples heritability backarounds. Respecting the land and integrate the best of technologies to increase enjoyability and our ability to live in sync with the animals, weather, and natural elements. Once again, gaining personal power from reflection of our ancestors doing as has bren done for thousands of years.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I’m not entirely sure what you mean with your first sentence, but do have a look at the blog content relating to Canada here. We’re making progress connecting remote communities and we’re definitely committed to green tech. You can read more about that here.

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Michael Dortch

Michael has more than four decades of information technology industry experience as an analyst, journalist, consultant, and marketer. As a Senior Strategist for Huawei USA, he is focused on helping a world-class team tell more and better stories about how a world-class company helps world-class customers and partners connect and succeed.

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