China/Europe: Huawei hooks another catch

Intelligence Online 01/07/2011 – After Francois Quentin, the former Thales ’ aerospace chief who became chairman of the board of Huawei France last year, the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker has been recruiting more high-profile European personalities to improve its image and dispel rumours of its alleged links with China’s People’s Liberation Army

Its latest catch is Sir Andrew Cahn, the new chairman of its UK advisory board, who stepped down in January as chief executive of UK Trade and Investment.

Cahn has spent much of his career working in European institutions. In the early 1980s he worked at the British delegation in Brussels, later joining the cabinet of Francis Cockfield, the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services from 1985 to 1988, before becoming director of cabinet for Neil Kinnock during his successive stints as Transport Commissioner and Vice-President of theEuropean Commission from 1995 to 2000.

The European Union is concerned about the heavy state subsidies that have enabled Huawei to flatten European competitors such as Belgian company Option, which it acquired last year (IOL 628).