The International Herald Leader (IHL), a branch of Xinhua News, published an article discussing some recent public relations moves by a few of China’s global firms. These companies have been hiring former U.S. government officials to play key roles in their firms. One example is Huawei, a large communications equipment vendor. It is widely known for its Chinese military background. Huawei recently hired Donald Andy Purdy, a former Homeland Security Department official, as its chief security officer. Another example is a large Chinese online B2B vendor, Alibaba. It hired James Mendenhall, the former General Counsel to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Mr. Mendenhall will be representing Chinese companies in their intellectual property negotiations against the United States. The report also gave other “unusual” PR examples that happened in Australia and Chile. Although this type of approach is not popular among Chinese companies, more and more global Chinese firms are exploring the technique.
Source: International Herald Leader, August 2, 2012