Why Europe and Huawei need to stick together

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

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Huawei is proud to be a to be a part of European family, and we look forward to growing together with it. [Huawei]

Europe and Huawei have a lot in common, and it is in our shared interest to join hands as we step into the digital age, writes Abraham Liu.

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

The digital age is approaching, bringing with it unprecedented opportunities for the continent. The EU’s digital economy is growing by 12% a year on average, seven times the growth rate of other sectors. Over the next five years, digitisation is estimated to generate over 110 billion euros of economic revenue for Europe.

As for Huawei, we have been focusing on digitisation since the company was founded over 30 years ago. We aim to bring digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent Europe.

Huawei’s growth in Europe has benefited from the peaceful and stable political environment, the open and fair business environment, and the robust development of the European Single Market. Europe has become our second “home”, next to China, in terms of local investment, ecosystem cooperation, and staff numbers. Over the past 18 years, Huawei has invested over USD 1 billion in European R&D, local procurement reached over USD 37 billion between 2009 and 2018, and we established strong partnerships with more than 140 European universities and research and consulting institutes. We now have 12 200 employees here and over 70 % of them are hired locally.

Huawei has put down deep roots and become an inseparable part of Europe.

Striving towards common goals

Europe is open and inclusive, and this allows us to put aside differences and work together effectively. The bloc’s digitisation is gathering speed, driven by breakthroughs in 5G, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and other technologies.

Huawei vigorously collaborates with many different European partners, contributing to the digitisation and the growth of numerous industries.

In 2018 alone, Huawei expanded smart city innovation cooperation with Duisburg, worked with the National Opera of Paris to create a Digital Academy for young people, and explored connected car solutions with PSA and Audi. We also helped TIM and Fastweb launch the first 3GPP standard 5G commercial base station.

These are just a few success stories. To date, 47 European companies of the Fortune Global 500 have chosen Huawei as their partner to go digital.

Teamwork with partners, including governments, companies, academic institutions, and citizens, is essential in order to reap the full benefits of digitisation. We each play a different role in the digital ecosystem, but we are striving towards common goals.

Security and trust: the foundation of everything

The values of security and trust are built into the very foundations of the European project, which enshrined them in the Treaties. The same can be said about our company, which has translated this commitment into an end-to-end cybersecurity assurance system.

In line with this commitment, Europe has been implementing the EU General Data Protection Regulation since May 2018. At Huawei, we warmly welcomed this ambitious legislation. Cybersecurity is our top priority: Huawei has an excellent track record in cybersecurity around the world, complying with local laws and regulations under all circumstances.

We believe that cybersecurity is a global issue that can only be addressed through joint efforts. By working with industry partners and governments, we aim to develop an ecosystem based on joint cybersecurity standards rather than ideology.

To prove ourselves as a trustworthy partner, we are open to suggestions from all European governments, customers, and partners. In March 2019, we will open the Huawei Transparency and Cybersecurity Centre in Brussels. This centre will serve as an exhibition space dedicated to security and privacy, allowing visitors to test our products and to remotely check our source code.

A vision for a better world

Working together to overcome challenges requires shared values and goals, but also a vision of where we want to go. Europe and Huawei share the vision of a world that embraces digital technologies for a better quality of life.

Huawei is translating this vision into action through concrete investments and actions. By 2021, Huawei will invest another US$ 50 million to build more OpenLabs to help more European companies go digital and expand their influence in the world. We also hope to deepen our partnerships with European universities and research institutions, to facilitate the commercialisation of technological innovation, generating more business value.

Huawei will further invest in Europe to drive local employment and boost digital skills. Over the next two years, Huawei will roll out its new “DigitAll Programme” for developing digital skills, which will provide support for 3 000 talented Europeans.

Beyond business success, Huawei is committed to driving the advancement of science and technology, increasing employment and investment, developing skills, and contributing to a healthy competition environment in Europe.

Jean-Claude Juncker once said: “The European family may well be anything but perfect. But it is the best thing that we have for bringing the countries of Europe around the same table and for forging compromises so that people here can live in peace, freedom, and prosperity.”

Huawei is proud to be a to be a part of this family, and we look forward to growing together with it. Let’s work together to create a better digital future for all.

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