BEIJING — Executives from the Chinese technology giant Huawei have been out in force recently. In interviews with international broadcasters and at events overseas, they have tried to fend off American officials’ allegations that the company has broken United States laws and can spy on Beijing’s behalf.
But back at home, Huawei does not need to work nearly as hard to get help with public relations. Even when it isn’t asking for any.
A music video titled “Huawei Is Beautiful” began circulating on Chinese social media this week. Featuring a chorus of children singing and dancing before the Zhuhai Grand Theater in southern China, the young performers extol the company’s products and sing of the pride Huawei has brought to the nation.
A Huawei representative said the company had nothing to do with the song or the video, and did not know about it before it was released.
The lyrics do not exactly contain hidden depths:
Which phone is the most beautiful in the world?
Everybody says it is Huawei.
The battery is long-lasting, the phone looks good,
Chinese microchips are the most precious!
The refrain, which is undeniably catchy, goes:
Huawei is good, Huawei is beautiful!
Huawei gives me wisdom!
Teacher tells me to love the motherland
and Chinese-made smartphones, love Huawei!
During an instrumental break, the children play with what are presumably Huawei handsets and goof around in cute costumes. There is even a rap section, performed by a spirited youngster who says: “Huawei has won glory and splendor for the nation!”
The company, whose name means “China’s Achievement,” has expanded its business around the globe to an extent that few Chinese technology companies ever have. Huawei challenges Western powerhouses such as Apple and Nokia for leadership in smartphones and telecommunications equipment. Chinese people sometimes refer to the company as “the pride of the nation.”
Still, as the United States has tried to persuade the world that Huawei operates under Beijing’s sway, the company has steadfastly emphasized that it is privately owned and has no ties to the government. That has not stopped Chinese officials from speaking out strongly in Huawei’s defense. And it has not dissuaded Chinese web users from rallying around the company in their own ways.
The tariff war with the United States has occasioned similar expressions of Chinese pride, though these do not appear to have dampened sales of American products in a large way. Apple’s sales have weakened in China of late, but industry observers say that China’s economic slowdown and the iPhone’s hefty price tag have been bigger factors than surging nationalism.
In a post on the social platform WeChat, the music video’s musical director, Zhou Dan, writes: “The children’s clear, sweet voices sing out ‘the pride of the nation,’ using the most pure and innocent voices to wish blessings upon Huawei, and to bless all Chinese brands to put on their wings and ‘go into the future, go out into the world.’”
The lyrics to “Huawei Is Beautiful” were composed by Li Yourong and Zang Sijia, according to the credits. According to Ms. Zhou, Mr. Li is a songwriter for the People’s Liberation Army who has written several well-known ditties, including a song about Mount Everest that was famously performed by Peng Liyuan, the wife of China’s leader, Xi Jinping.
Snarky reaction has abounded on Chinese social media. On the Twitter-like platform Weibo, one user wrote: “If this kind of thing spreads overseas, doesn’t it just push Huawei into the fire?” A face-palm emoji punctuated the sentence.
Carolyn Zhang contributed research from Shanghai.