NOKIA disowned the comments made by its Chief Technology Officer (CTO) on Huawei


If you go to Wikipedia and view the profile of Marcus Weldon, the CTO of NOKIA, you will find that amongst his many achievements, he was accepted for a Ph.D. program at Harvard University.


The CTO achieved notoriety recently when in an interview with the BBC, he warned the UK government to be wary of using Huawei's telecom kits. The Nokia CTO's comments apparently relied on a report from a cybersecurity firm Finite State, which published a report claiming that "Huawei devices quantitatively pose a high risk to their users". He further alleged that Huawei enjoyed unfair financial advantages in terms of funding mechanisms in China. In China, where Nokia competed with Huawei, the CTO alleged that Huawei obtained below market rates of interest on government loans with longer repayment periods and given greater priority and opportunity while Nokia doesn't have or given the same opportunities.


Concurrently, the CTO was quoted to have said that Nokia's equipment was not subject to the same checks in the UK as Huawei, but said it did face scrutiny around the world while proclaiming Nokia's equipment was "a safer bet" for mobile operators.


We find it amazing that the CTO with such extensive credential can make sweeping and contracting statements. Firstly, he relied on a 3rd party report to substantiate his allegation of a competitor when it is clear that Nokia would be one of the benefactor from a ban on Huawei. Secondly his comment about Huawei getting unfair advantage competing in their own home country while Nokia is unfairly disadvantaged, while admitting Huawei faces tougher scrutiny by regulators outside China as compared to Nokia sounds very much like a comment from a sore loser.


Luckily within the same day Nokia issued a statement disassociating themselves from the comments made by their CTO. Nokia in their statement said they are focused on the integrity of its own products and services and does not have its own assessment of any potential vulnerabilities associated with its competitors.


To those out there, the lesson learnt is please don't behave and speak like the Nokia CTO. You win new business by fair competition and on the basis of your ability, strength, technology and customer focus - not by denigrating your competitors. 

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