Motorola Solutions retracts CEO Greg Brown’s statements on TV about Huawei
Motorola Solutions retracted statements made by CEO Greg Brown about his company’s trade-secret dispute with China-based Huawei Technologies that were aired on the Fox Business Network last month, noting that the comments “should not have been made.”
“During a recent appearance on the Fox Business Network, which was broadcast on December 11 and 14, 2018, Motorola Solutions’ Chief Executive Officer, Greg Brown, made certain comments regarding prior trade-secret litigations between Motorola Solutions and Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.,” according to a Motorola Solutions statement. “Motorola Solutions and Huawei amicably resolved their dispute through a Settlement Agreement executed in April 2011. The parties then agreed to and issued a Joint Public Statement on April 13, 2011.
“In light of the Joint Public Statement made on April 13, 2011, upon reflection, the comments on Fox Business Network should not have been made, and Motorola Solutions retracts these comments.”
According to a joint public statement issued when the dispute was settled, “in 2000, Motorola and Huawei entered into an important, successful commercial relationship during which Motorola resold certain Huawei products under the Motorola name. Over the next ten years, Motorola purchased $880 million in technology from Huawei that covered core networks and radio access networks.”
During an interview with Fox Business News host Maria Bartiromo last month, Brown discussed the changing business environment for his company in China, where Motorola once boasted more than #3 billion in revenue and 15,000 employees. Today, Motorola Solutions has 170 employees in China and realized about $170 million in revenue, he said.
“The whole environment changed about a decade ago,” Brown said during the interview. “It’s well publicized that, in 2007, a Motorola engineer was arrested at O’Hare Airport [in Chicago] with a one-way ticket to China, $30,000 in cash and a thousand thumb drives. What we found was that Huawei was stealing trade-secret and confidential files from Motorola with Chinese nationals that were our employees. That was subsequently settled.”
Brown also said that “Huawei definitely stole trade secrets.” In addition, Brown discussed broader changes to the business environment in China for Motorola Solutions.
“We fast forward to now, and I think that it’s a very different environment; market access is tough,” Brown said. “If you want to compete in China, you have to usually … turn over your intellectual property to a local alliance. They use indigenous standards. For cellular, it’s something called TDS-CDMA. In our world, for Motorola, it’s called Police Digital Trunking.
“Quite frankly, I made the decision eight years ago to essentially get out of China, in the sense of no manufacturing, no R&D. I think it’s a good market to serve—it’s OK, it’s vast. We’ll do so on terms that are conducive to us.”