Rui Ma, founder of Transformative Technology Academy and host of TechBuzz China podcast joined us in a discussion on the recent crisis of the Chinese technology company, ZTE and its implications on the ongoing trade war between US and China. We discussed the major lessons learnt by the Chinese companies from the ZTE fallout in a time where Chinese technology companies are now in the midst of challenging Silicon Valley for dominance in technology and regional expansion across Asia Pacific.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Rui Ma, Founder of Transformative Technology Academy and Host of TechBuzz China podcast (iTunes, SoundCloud) by Pandaily produced by SupChina (LinkedIn, @ruima) [0:30]
    • Since our last conversation, what have you been up to? [0:35]
    • Can you talk about your new project: the TechBuzz podcast by Pandaily? [2:18]
  • ZTE’s recent crisis (Company main page) [3:46]
    • Introduction: ZTE Corporation is a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China running at 108B Yuan ~ US$16B revenue in 2017 with 74.7K employees globally and also listed in Shenzhen Stock Exchange. 
    • Can you briefly introduce the Chinese company ZTE and what they do? [4:12]
    • What’s the history behind this company? [5:12]
    • ZTE is divided into 3 business units: carrier networks, terminals and telecommunications, and who are their customers? [6:34]
    • How did ZTE got into trouble with the US authorities? (See Reference: How did ZTE end up in the middle of US-China trade war? Washington Post) [8:12]
    • How important are US suppliers to ZTE? [10:10]
    • What are the consequences if the ban will to continue without Trump’s intervention? What’s the current status for ZTE? [12:30]
    • How does this fit into the US – China trade war? [14:34] 
    • Are there any long term consequences from China’s perspective? [16:24]
    • Discussion on the competition between US and China technology companies. [18:12]
    • Is Silicon Valley really starting to lag behind China given Mike Moritz’s recent articles on FT? [20:30]
    • Is the ongoing trade war going to be counterproductive to the China and US technology companies given that they have a long history in cross border investments to each other and starting to build alliances and synergies between them? [22:26]
    • What are the lessons that Chinese companies need to learn from this crisis? [23:56]
  • Closing [26:31]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong & weibo) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.