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Look, I think you guys should give up on the xenophobia and protectionism stance. Why bash Huawei because of Chinese government policies? Do we bash Cisco because of George Bush? Why bash Huawei because of suspected military connections? Do you honestly think Motorola doesn't trade with the Pentagon?
Here's what I've learned over several years working here. Like a great many young Asian technology firms, they do indeed follow others' successes and copy good ideas. But hey, did all car companies invent the car - no of course not - so do you moan that only one should exist? And yes, they do internal R&D and yes they will get better and more innovative over time.
All this stuff about Chinese government ownership of Huawei doesn't sound right. What I do hear is that they get financial support for international expansion and growth. China would like to have some home grown international technology champions and supports that. Is this so unusual? Western countries subsidise R&D and exports too.
And on the topic of ownership, it is my understanding that many employees (no, not all) are indeed shareholders. The company isn't listed on the stock exchange - yet. Perhaps one day it will be floated - something the employees with shares look forward to. But a non-quoted company doesn't need to publish all of its financial details, the same as in Western countries. So I think some people are assuming the worst and enjoy conspiracy theories. I guess they watch too much junk TV.
On the topic of China being some kind of bargain basement factory, I'd like to add my comment. From what I hear, most factories in China are in fact owned by Western companies - think about that. By the way, you must realise that the vast majority of all telecoms equipment is built in Asia, regardless of the vendor's label on the box.
When I joined Huawei, I asked about Ericsson. I was informed that Ericsson is the largest supplier of telecoms equipment in China and is very highly respected by Huawei employees, rightly so.
Look, this is not a perfect company and there's lots of room to improve. I don't condone or undersatnd all of its internal or external practices. However, I do see genuine hard work, loyalty, respect and admiration for their competitors. It is a young, dynamic company that has successes and failures, makes mistakes and makes adjustments. Having worked for other vendors I can state that the place is highly dynamic - sometimes a bit of a roller-coaster at times - but you get opportunities that you'd never get anywhere else. On balance, I'm glad I came to work here. And no, I don't work in HR.