Huawei Brews Up Another PR Gimmick: ‘Meng Come Home’ Coffee Cups

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Huawei Brews Up Another PR Gimmick: ‘Meng Come Home’ Coffee Cups

(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. is waging a legal and public relations battle on a growing number of fronts. That global offensive has strayed into beverages.

China’s largest technology company has found a novel way to campaign on behalf of finance chief Meng Wanzhou, who’s in Canada awaiting possible extradition to the U.S. During a multi-day press event at its Shenzhen headquarters this week, visitors found paper coffee cups bearing a scarlet-hued shoreline at sunset and the slogan: “The lighthouse is waiting. Wanzhou please come home.” The cups -- which turned up at Huawei HQ in December -- play on Meng’s Chinese first name, which can also mean “late-arriving boat.”

It’s just one small part of a multi-pronged charm offensive that seeks to squelch U.S. accusations that its communications equipment helps Beijing spy on foreign powers. In recent weeks, reclusive founder Ren Zhengfei emerged to defend his company in media interviews, while his top lieutenants showed off the company’s technological capabilities and fought back against American criticisms.

Huawei has also embarked on a full-blown legal offensive. In Canada, Meng sued the government for allegedly violating her constitutional rights as she was being arrested in December on bank fraud charges. This week, the Chinese technology giant intends to file a lawsuit claiming the U.S. government is overstepping by barring Huawei from competing to supply equipment for certain federal agencies, Bloomberg News reported.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Robert Fenner at rfenner@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Peter Elstrom

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