Huawei promotes credentials to UK businesses amid deepening US crisis

Campaign is running across print, digital and outdoor.

Huawei: subject of US trade ban
Huawei: subject of US trade ban

Huawei has launched a corporate campaign aimed at promoting the benefits of digital connectivity in the UK and explaining how the brand has added significantly to the UK's GDP, and the Shenzhen-headquartered firm has reported strong quarterly growth this year.

The work comes at a time when the Chinese consumer electronics giant's reputation is on the line. Its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, is under house arrest in Canada, facing an extradition hearing to the US. The US imposed a trade ban on Huawei last week, in effect banning US companies from selling or transferring technology to Huawei and resulting in the likes of Google and Intel severing ties with Huawei.

Huawei has also faced mounting scrutiny in the UK over whether or not it should be allowed to help build the UK's 5G networks amid concerns that this poses a security risk.

The UK's National Security Council gave the brand the green light to build "non-core" technology for the country's 5G networks in April. However, any final decision on the UK's stance could be delayed in light of the US trade ban. 

The telecoms giant claims it is being unfairly targeted by the Trump Administration in a proxy war that is really more about trade tensions between the US and China. It also maintains the security weakness allegations made against its network are unfounded.

The campaign, which launches across the UK today in print, digital and outdoor, was created by Ogilvy Hong Kong.

It features a map of the UK, with different points around the country "connected", accompanied by the strapline: "A fully connected Britain is a fully united Britain." The ad also highlights Huawei's promise to help position the UK as a digital leader and boost the economy.

Another recent consumer-facing campaign focused on illustrating the power of its smartphone technology. This included using its new Huawei P30 model to bring the Northern Lights to London, a campaign created and produced by PR agency Frank. 

It's another sign Huawei is taking its media relations more seriously after the announcement that veteran Sky News reporter Paul Harrison will become a senior member of its UK and Europe communications team. 

Jerry Wang, Huawei’s UK chief executive, said: "We have operated in the UK since 2001 and supply all the major telecom operators with our products and solutions. As long-term investors, we are committed to helping create jobs and opportunities, building partnerships and supporting local communities across the UK."

A version of this article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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