Steven Yi, President of Huawei Middle East, spoke to CNME Editor-in-Chief Mark Forker about the continued growth of Chinese suppliers in 2021, its progressive green program and the key role that its “Huawei Cloud” platform plays will play in fueling the digital economy.

Despite a difficult year due to COVID and continued pressure from the United States, Huawei maintained growth in 2021, results show. What was behind this momentum?

Huawei’s 2021 annual report revealed that the company has maintained stable operations throughout the past year. Huawei achieved revenue of $99.9 billion in 2021 and net profit of $17.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 75.9%.

Huawei’s workforce, finances and business operations remain stable and can support the company’s future development. Huawei’s core business in ICT infrastructure remained stable while new business segments such as digital power and cloud grew rapidly and our ecosystem development efforts entered the fast lane. .

The strong performance despite a challenging operating landscape is the result of an ongoing commitment to innovation. Huawei’s R&D expenditure reached approximately USD 22.4 billion in 2021, which represents 22.4% of its total revenue and brings its total R&D expenditure over the past ten years to more than 132.5 billion USD.

This continuous investment in R&D helped Huawei rank second in the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scorecard last year. Today, Huawei holds one of the largest patent portfolios in the world; in 2021, Huawei held more than 110,000 active patents in more than 45,000 families.

Countries in the region have been pioneers in 5G adoption, achieving rapid and successful 5G deployments. As the technology matures, please discuss some growing use cases and how companies can develop new models based on 5G.

In 2021, Huawei’s global carrier business generated $44.1 billion in revenue and helped carriers around the world deploy cutting-edge 5G networks. Third-party test results revealed that 5G networks built by Huawei for customers in 13 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and South Korea, provide the best user experience.

Huawei has signed more than 3,000 commercial contracts for industrial 5G applications.

These 5G applications are currently seeing large-scale commercial use in manufacturing, mining, steelworks, ports and hospitals. In 2021, Huawei has worked with more than 500 new industry solution partners whose products complement our capabilities, with whom we have jointly launched more than 700 solutions, including more than 100 scenario-based 5GtoB solutions.

These solutions have been deployed in over 10,000 5GtoB projects in the enterprise market, enabling industrial applications such as smart iron and steel, smart coal mining, smart ports, smart cement, smart manufacturing , smart chemicals and smart oil and gas. These applications have helped customers increase their productivity and provide their employees with a safer and more comfortable working environment.

Elaborating on the latest Huawei Cloud innovations and how the platform continues to strengthen the region’s digital economy?

Huawei Cloud was designed to provide customers with stable, reliable, secure and innovative cloud services. To accelerate digital transformation, Huawei Cloud strives to deliver everything as a service based on three pillars: Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Technology-as-a-Service, and Expertise-as-a-Service.

Huawei has fully opened more than 50 scenario-based cloud services and provided more than 8,000 solutions to customers.

Huawei Cloud is committed to growing with partners throughout the Middle East. Last year, for example, we announced a $15 million investment in the Huawei Cloud Oasis program in the Middle East to help 3,000 experts, support more than 1,500 consulting and technical partners, and enable more than 100 SMBs develop their cloud capabilities.

Our Huawei Cloud Spark program will also provide startups with access to financial and technical support, mentorship, and go-to-market incentives. The goal is to help startups focus on business development without worrying about financial and marketing challenges.

During the recent LEAP conference in Riyadh, Huawei further announced its intention to open a cloud region in Saudi Arabia, a message delivered by our rotating global president, reflecting the importance of the Kingdom to Huawei’s global business and the importance of the cloud in the region.

As many countries in the region announce green initiatives, could you explain how Huawei is responding to these new demands?

We strongly support the green ambitions of the Middle East region and the strategies of countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and others to move towards carbon neutrality. Many of our partners across the tech landscape also want to be part of the climate change action.

This movement involves innovating green and low-carbon networks and data centers while promoting the development of clean energy. Today, we do this through Huawei Digital Power, including many strategic projects in the Middle East.

Huawei Digital Power examines five business areas globally: Smart PV, Data Center Facilities, mPower for Electric Vehicles, Site Power, and Integrated Energy Solutions. Huawei Digital Power views the Middle East and Gulf region specifically as “strategic importance” to the company as it seeks to contribute to a low-carbon and smarter society fueled by digital technologies.

Although we will cooperate with companies in the five areas mentioned earlier in the GCC, I believe that Smart PV and data center installations are important.

In Saudi Arabia, Huawei is providing energy storage and PV solutions for the Red Sea Project, the world’s largest microgrid energy storage project. This project will see the construction of the world’s first city powered solely by PV with energy storage.

Additionally, we see an opportunity to help telecom operators optimize energy by building energy efficient sites, networks and operations. This helps them reduce their carbon footprint while reducing their energy expenditure to meet their cost reduction goals. This is the essence of our “More Bits, Less Watts” strategy.

Huawei’s popular talent development initiatives continue to empower young people to explore careers in ICT. Please keep us updated on the latest developments of these initiatives

When we launched Seeds for the Future in 2008, we immediately identified a real need to develop local ICT talent. Since then, Huawei has launched or sponsored several other talent development programs and competitions globally, regionally and nationally, including scholarship programs, Huawei ICT Academy, Huawei Developer Training, Huawei Cloud Developer Institute, Women in Tech and technology for education. (for example, DigiSchool, DigiTruck and SmartBus).

We have already invested more than US$150 million in these programs as part of our commitment to developing local ICT talent, and 1.54 million people from over 150 countries have benefited.

To date, Huawei has opened 152 Huawei ICT Academies in the Middle East alone. More than 15,000 students have obtained Huawei certifications and more than 76,000 students have participated in Huawei’s annual ICT competition. More than 3,000 students have committed to its flagship program, Seeds For The Future.

In 2021, Huawei announced the Seeds for the Future 2.0 program with a commitment to invest US$150 million in digital talent development over the next five years. We hope this effort will benefit more than three million additional people, including hundreds of thousands in the Middle East.


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