Chinese communications vendor, Huawei, is setting up a board of directors in Australia to guide the company’s local operations.
This will be the first time the vendor has made such an arrangement outside of China. Progress will be observed closely by Huawei’s headquarters to assess whether this program could be replicated globally.
“Because Australia is a smaller market compared to say the UK and the US, it is the ideal testbed,” Huawei director of corporate and public affairs, Jeremy Mitchell, said.
The board will consist of three independent members, one member from the vendor’s Chinese headquarters, another from the regional office and a chairman.
The final number of board members has yet to be finalised and their names will be announced later in time.
Huawei wants the board to be confirmed and its first meeting to be held by mid-year.
The new board of directors will play into Huawei’s localisation plans as well.
“Our impact in the Australian market has increased because we are involved with major carriers so it is a good opportunity to show and demonstrate our localisation strategy,” Mitchell said.
The vendor has experienced significant growth in Australia, securing a number of networking and device contracts with major telcos. Last year, it was involved in the Telstra LTE trial last year as well as WiMax rollout in Perth and continued expansion in other metro areas.
Vodafone Hutchinson Australia (VHA) has teamed with Huawei as part of the telco’s $1 billion network upgrade plan announced in February.
Huawei stressed the purpose of the board is not just to prove its commitment to the Australian market but will also serve to drive local business strategies.
“What we have learnt is when you have staff and management in the country, you can then set business strategies two to five years ahead,” Mitchell said. “In a business sense we see this as an opportunity to increase sales.”
The vendor has 400 local staff and will be boosting that to 600 by the end of the year.
Huawei entered the consumer market last year and has been releasing a handful of products such as handsets, tablets and pocket Wi-Fi devices.
The company expects further growth in this space as it plans to ramp up marketing with the aim of becoming a household brand in the next five years.
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