The rise of Huawei – then better known as a telecoms network equipment and technology provider - in becoming a mobile phone powerhouse is nothing short of spectacular. Since it was founded in 1987, Huawei has finally become a serious contender for giants like Apple and Samsung; it is the second biggest smartphone maker in the world, as of second quarter 2018.
Its ascension is, of course, a culmination of many years of low-profile product development and ultimately shunning its old business model of producing cheaper models for high-performing ones.
Huawei Consumer Business Group Deputy Country Director Matthew Ng is confident that the company can rise to the top spot.
“We have done quite well in 2017 and 2018,” says Ng. “Our flagship products last year really grew the market share for us. Items like the Mate 10 which was introduced last year, and the P20 Pro that was presented to the market this year, took the consumer world by storm,” he says.
The core of Huawei's competitiveness lies in its pricing strategy – lower than most competitors but not too low that it would put the quality of its products into question.
Shedding the image of being just another low-cost Chinese smartphone maker was an uphill task in its initial stages of growth.
“Huawei’s core value is customer centricity,” he adds. “This year, we are presenting seven products in Malaysia, from smartphones, to wearables, to laptops. These are critical for us to present a full-suite of products and services to ensure we answer all our customer calls.
“Malaysia has always been a critical market outside of China,” says Ng of the local market. “Malaysia will always be a key focus area due to our geographical proximity, we have similar cultural background and we are able to ship our products as fast here as we do in China due to our strong supply chain. It makes sense for us to introduce products that are very first sold within the China market but is still new to international markets,” he adds.
There are plenty of arguments on the strategy of the consumer business. One school of thought says leaner product offerings presents a ‘cleaner’ way of managing consumer expectations. Conversely, another school of thought argues that consumers need plenty of choices to ensure that any part of their demands can easily be met by having a diverse range of product line up.
Huawei has opted for the latter. Ng explains how the group remains responsive in a fast-moving industry.