“The battery is durable and the appearance is good, with the most precious Chinese chip! Ranking first in the phone world, Huawei strives for innovation!”
No, that’s not ad copy or some kind of marketing message for Chinese smartphone maker Huawei. Rather, those are lyrics translated into English from the song Huawei the Beautiful, which you can watch a group of cute kids perform in the video clip above that blew up on Chinese social media yesterday.
Setting aside the fact that it seems like one of those performances you see emerge from time to time out of a repressive dictatorship, where supposedly normal people sing the praises of the Dear Leader, it’s a pro-Huawei message that comes at a not-so-great moment for the beleaguered company. US officials, of course, are bashing the company at every turn, accusing it of being a de facto arm of the Chinese government and producing devices with backdoors built-in for spying.
According to the South China Morning Post, Huawei didn’t have anything to do with the singing kids production. It was actually made by an entity called the Zhoudan Kids’ Singing Classroom, the paper notes, and that it was created as “an act of public benefit.” Moreover, we’re led to believe, the kids taking parent in the singing along with their parents are honest-to-goodness fans of Huawei.
What, couldn’t you tell from lyrics like these? “Grandpa says Huawei is a good name, Chinese people can achieve! Huawei is good, Huawei is beautiful, Huawei brings me wisdom!
“Teacher tells me to love my country, and to love our domestic brand Huawei! Huawei is good, Huawei is beautiful, Huawei wins glory for our country!”
For its part, Huawei has called the production “very cute” but added in a released statement that it would not have anything else to say about the video, which Huawei shared to its Weibo account.
On a more serious note, all of this comes as troubles continue to mount for Huawei, representatives of which pled not guilty in federal court in Seattle today for the first court appearance following a series of criminal charges US officials made public in January. Also, March 1 is the deadline for Canada to decide whether it will begin extradition proceedings for Huawei’s CFO, who was arrested in the country in December at the behest of the US to face fraud charges here.
As a result of all this, the tension between the US and China was certainly palpable at MWC in recent days, with one US cyber official telling reporters that Huawei is “duplicitous and deceitful.” Also during MWC, Huawei executive Guo Ping shot back at the US over the spying allegations, in a pot-calling-the-kettle-black kind of defense.
“Prism prism on the wall, who is the most trustworthy of them all?” Ping said during some public remarks, in a reference to US spying programs made public by whistleblower Edward Snowden.