Asia, New in Lobbying, US-China tensions

Apple lobbyist Glover Park merges with German lobbyist for Huawei

Washington’s Glover Park Group is joining forces with one of Huawei‘s top lobbyists in Europe as part of the three-way trans-Atlantic merger that was announced Tuesday.

Germany’s Hering Schuppener received between €300,000 and €400,000 ($334,000 to $452,000) from the Chinese telecommunications giant in 2019, according to a review of the European Union’s Transparency Register by Foreign Lobby Report. The third partner in the merger, British firm Finsbury, is not listed in the register. Glover Park for its part is not currently registered as a Huawei lobbyist in the United States.

In a statement Tuesday about plans to merge the three firms, Hering Schuppener Managing Partner Alexander Geiser said Finsbury Glover Hering would operate as one entity when it launches in 2021.

“With one global brand, balance sheet and governance, we are formally implementing what has long been reality for us,” said Geiser, the new firm’s incoming CEO. “One firm, one team.”

Hering Schuppener however insisted that the firm’s Huawei work will remain restricted to Germany once the merger is completed next year.

“Our mandate for Huawei is strictly separated from the US market,” Dirk von Manikowsky, a partner at the firm, told Foreign Lobby Report in an emailed statement. “Hering Schuppener advises only the German management in Germany. Intelligence from our team in Brussels also flows into this, although we do not work for the company at the EU level.”

The in-house lobbyist for Huawei in the US also dismissed the possibility that Glover Park would fight for Huawei in Washington, as the firm represents one of its main competitors: Apple.

“Our mandate for Huawei is strictly separated from the US market.”

 Hering Schuppener partner Dirk von Manikowsky

“They represent a Huawei competitor in the U.S.,” said Dennis Amari, the vice president for Federal & Regulatory Affairs at Huawei Technologies USA.” I think it would be a conflict of interest for them to also represent Huawei before the U.S. Government.”

“I would bet that Apple will drop them in the US if they start to represent Huawei here,” Amari added. “Germany and the US are very different markets and governments.”

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Huawei Technologies USA has been registered to lobby since March 2012. Since then it has spent a combined $6.2 million amid increasing US pushback against the company’s dominance over 5G mobile telecommunications.

Glover Park registered to lobby for Apple that same year. The firm received $160,000 from the US company in 2019.

Hering Schuppener isn’t the only firm lobbying for Huawei in Europe. Other firms in the EU Transparency Registry include:

  • Huawei Technologies: €2.75 million to €3 million ($3.12 million to $3.4 million) in in-house lobbying in 2018;
  • Alber & Geiger: €100,000 to €200,000 ($113,500 to $227,000) in 2019;
  • FIPRA International: €100,000 to €200,000 ($113,500 to $227,000) in 2019;
  • Hill & Knowlton International Belgium: €25,000 to €50,000 ($28,000 to $57,000) in 2019;
  • Ogilvy Social Lab: €200,000 to €300,000 ($227,000 to $340,000) in 2019;
  • The Skill Set: €100,000 to €200,000 ($113,500 to $227,000) from April 2018 to March 2019.

In the United States, Huawei retains the following firms:

Update: This post was updated at 3:10 p.m. on July 10 with comment from Hering Schuppener.