2020 – Twenty years of Huawei in Europe

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV.COM Ltd.

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Abraham Liu is Huawei’s Chief Representative to the EU institutions. [Huawei]

As we’re entering a new decade tomorrow, the year 2020 bears special significance for Huawei in Europe: 20 years ago, in the year 2000, we took our first steps into Europe by opening a Research and Development Centre in Sweden. Since then, both Europe and Huawei have come a long way.

Abraham Liu is Huawei’s Chief Representative to European Institutions and the President of its European Public Affairs and Communication Office.

In 2018, Huawei has supported 170 000 jobs across Europe and has paid over 5.6 billion euros in taxes. Back in 2000, the European Union was made up of just 15 countries and was getting ready for a big enlargement. Today, there are 27 Member States and as a result, the EU has grown more resilient through the past years.  

Throughout 2019, it became clear that Huawei is very well placed to help Europe achieve Digital Sovereignty. Digital Sovereignty needs to be understood on various levels. First, it refers to decision-making independent of political pressure from other world regions and players. Secondly, it means developing alternatives to the already dominant providers in the sector. It is currently non-European companies that dictate many areas of the digital realm. Europe needs to take back that control. How does it do that? By creating true European competitors and partnering with global tech leaders – like Huawei – to create genuine alternatives to the US companies who currently seek to control the world’s digital destiny. It is about staying true to principles of openness, competitiveness and fair trade – values which Huawei shares. 

These principles have contributed to interconnected, global markets for which 5G is perfectly designed. Indeed, the 5G supply chain is one of the most integrated supply chains in the world. Ours is truly a global industry. Healthy competition helps all vendors become more innovative and competitive, and Huawei can help Europe in this through our willingness to share and transfer our most innovative technologies. For Europe, not to seize this opportunity would be a tragedy, and a betrayal of the great industrial and innovation history that this continent has. It would be giving up the possibility of leading the 4th Industrial Revolution. Digital Sovereignty can and should be a win-win situation for both Huawei and Europe. Without it, Europe would find it difficult to achieve other goals, too, such as its “European Green Deal”.

In 2020, the deployment of 5G across Europe will be gaining momentum. Huawei’s 5G solution is not just the best on the market, it is to a large extent a European product. Many of the technologies are actually developed by the researchers and scientists in Europe. Huawei wants Europe to be at the vanguard of this 5G revolution to boost Europe’s economy and reinforce European industry’s leading position. 5G will actually help safeguard Europe’s social model and the European way of life. 

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