Huawei to help Saudi Arabia become world’s top 5G country

By Chu Daye Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/22 14:26:08

Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei Technologies said it will support information and communication technology (ICT) development with its most advanced technology in Saudi Arabia, which it says will be among the world's first group of countries deploying the fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology.

Without giving details, Mark Xue, a Huawei senior executive, said the Middle East powerhouse, which is seeking to diversify its economy, will be among the world's first group of 5G countries along with European countries, China, South Korea, and Japan.

Xue, a vice president of Huawei, made the remarks on Friday at the China-Saudi Arabia investment summit in Beijing attended by more than 1,300 representatives from the Chinese and Saudi business communities. 

The meeting was held in concert with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud's ongoing visit to China to further cooperation between the two countries and further integration between the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Xue said his company will support Saudi Arabia in its drive, and Huawei is ready to invest $20 million per year in its three local research centers, cooperate closely with 140 local suppliers, procure $500 million worth of local equipment annually and add 10,000 local jobs in Saudi Arabia in the future.

To further the kingdom's drive toward a digital economy, Xue said Huawei will train 10,000 Saudi talents in the ICT sector, of which 5,000 will obtain vocational certification before 2020.

Huawei opened in January its first flagship store in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which is also its largest store in the Middle East and Africa.

In 2018, Huawei's smart phones held the second largest market share in terms of sales in Saudi Arabia, according to Xue.

In 2016, Huawei became the first Chinese company to be granted a 100-percent ownership in Saudi Arabia.

Huawei has been smeared in the US, as the country seeks to pressure its allies to ban Huawei equipment from 5G wireless technology contracts at a time when the world is rapidly moving toward 5G.

Not all US allies have been convinced that Huawei's equipment poses a problem and the company continues to invest globally.

On Thursday, Huawei said it would hire 200 new employees and increase research and development spending in Canada, despite the country's arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou at the behest of the US in December 2018.

The company said it will increase spending in Canada by 15 percent from C$180 million ($136.5 million) and add the new employees to its research and development team, according to a statement the company sent to the Global Times.

Huawei said its subsidiary in Canada has spent $500 million on research since its operation began in Canada in 2008. 


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