Forbes China, 3/29/12
Zhu Bo recently resigned as president of Chinese telecom equipment and terminal manufacturer Huawei's internet business unit. An industry insider said that from Huawei's corporate perspective, the internet business is far removed from its core businesses. The internet division must first establish a sufficient user base and traffic before monetizing through advertising, user payments, and other methods, unlike the operator business which immediately generates revenue. As a result, the development of the internet business is tied to capturing users via channel promotion, an area in which Huawei has little experience, making user acquisition challenging.
When Zhu joined Huawei in 2008, he was appointed CMO of the business and software product line division, which provides comprehensive solutions to operators such as China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) and Vodafone. Afterward, the division began to change, shifting to a direct focus on consumers and following an Internet-based business model. Huawei previously launched its own SNS, Aimi.com, but because it competed with China Mobile's SNS 139.com, an internal decision was made to shut down the service. Huawei's internet business has three components: cloud computing services similar to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for small and medium-sized enterprise; cloud services for mobile terminals somewhat similar to Apple's iCloud; and other internet services such as online storage and the Tiantian mobile browser.