With Huawei’s Global Success, Could Language Be the Barrier to Breaking into the U.S. Market?

As the first Chinese trademark to join the list of the top 100 best global brands, it looks as if Huawei is definitely destined for success.

From its headquarters in Shenzhen, China, this company is hoping to change the skewed perspectives people around the world have towards Chinese goods and brands.

Thus far, Huawei has indeed been successful, managing to propel itself forward to become the second-largest supplier of Internet and telecom gear in the world. And with customers in over 130 countries, it’s easy to assume that Huawei has already achieved its goal of global dominance. However, one key market still remains closed off, somewhat bringing to a halt Huawei’s dramatic ascension to the top: the U.S.

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Perhaps the United States’ reluctance to open its doors to the Chinese mega-company is well founded. After all, as early as 2011 there were complaints in Britain of worker bias as managers were eager to bring in Chinese workers as opposed to keeping on local British. And the U.S. has long been paranoid of China’s growing success on a global scale, even directly accusing Huawei of having ties to the Chinese government, claims which the company’s Senior Vice President has referred to as “accusations with no facts substantiating the claims.”

And yet, the most massive barrier of all seems to be the great language wall. English is recognized as the golden currency of business and its prominence is only expected to increase over the next two decades. In turn, Chinese is the most spoken language in the world.

English is recognized as the golden currency of business and its prominence is only expected to increase over the next two decades. In turn, Chinese is the most spoken language in the world.

Even so, a startlingly low .73% of China’s population is actually English-speaking while the quantity of Mandarin learners in the U.S. has long been outnumbered by the amount of Chinese people learning English. Given Huawei’s penchant for favoring Chinese employees both locally and abroad, it’s becoming more and more necessary for the West in particular to begin looking at the importance of learning Chinese in order to communicate with global giants like Huawei.

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The good news is that with around 350 million English learners, China definitely seems to be trying to make up the slack while studies show that the number of Mandarin learners in the U.S. has also been steadily rising in recent years. Perhaps as we watch Huawei continue to take the world by storm we’ll eventually come to see China and the U.S. as finding a balanced middle ground for language when it comes to doing business. Once the Mandarin-English language barrier is removed, Huawei will most certainly find the task of becoming number one much easier to achieve.

As for the rest of us, even if our interests aren’t heavily invested in Huawei’s success, Mandarin is still considered the must-know language of the future. With opportunities abounding more and more in Asia and in China in particular, getting a head start on Chinese lessons is not only wise, but necessary. And even if Chinese is considered one of the toughest languages in the world, with excellent language classes and free placement test to help you keep your knowledge fresh, you’ll be more than prepared to tackle our increasingly globalized world which is made all the more fascinating by the dazzling international successes of Chinese companies like Huawei.

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