Innovating Nonstop for Faster Digitalization

Today, Huawei kicks off its annual flagship event, HUAWEI CONNECT, which is being held entirely online for the first time. Themed Dive into Digital, this year’s event brings together industry visionaries, business leaders, top tech experts, and ecosystem partners to explore:

  • How to integrate digital technology with business scenarios and industry know-how, and
  • How stakeholders can work together more effectively to foster an open industry ecosystem and drive shared success.

Below is Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu’s opening speech.

Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu delivers a keynote speech at HUAWEI CONNECT 2021

Thank you for tuning in to HUAWEI CONNECT online. Having the opportunity to connect with you online is a testament to the progress the world has made in digital transformation. Today, I’d like to talk about how Huawei is innovating nonstop to speed up that progress further.

The world is changing fast, and so is digital technology. There’s a global consensus on the importance of going digital these days – it might be the only thing everyone can agree on. More than 170 countries have released a national digital strategy. Recent developments have reminded us that digital transformation is now more real and urgent than ever.

Digital Transformation Accelerators

The Pandemic

First of all, the lingering pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of products and services over the last two years. According to McKinsey, COVID-19 has caused digital transformation to jump ahead by seven years globally and by a full 10 years in Asia Pacific. Their research also found that going digital is no longer viewed as some tedious and impractical endeavour. On the contrary, companies have proceeded 20 to 25 times faster than expected. And now it’s pretty much accepted that hybrid onsite and remote work will be the future of the workplace.

Climate Change

The second major catalyst is the proactive global response to carbon emissions and global warming. The EU has announced its plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and China has pledged to hit peak emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060. Digital technology holds the key to reducing emissions across all industries. According to a survey by the World Economic Forum, by 2030, digital technology will help reduce industrial emissions by 12.1 billion tons, roughly 10 times the amount emitted by the ICT industry itself.

Business Resilience

Third, the increasingly complex global environment has caused companies to place greater strategic priority on business resilience, for which digital technology is a key enabler. Economic recovery from the pandemic and low-carbon development are both pushing organizations worldwide to pick up the pace of their digital transformation.

The Technology Is Ready

The good news is that the underlying technology has never been more ready. Many countries came to realize this in their efforts to grapple with the pandemic. The development of the underlying digital technology and infrastructure has laid a solid foundation for digital transformation.

Globally, there are already 176 5G commercial networks and more than 10,000 projects exploring how 5G can drive industrial digitalization. On the consumer end, there are already more than 490 million 5G users worldwide. According to IDG, 81% of organizations worldwide are already using cloud or have applications in the cloud. AI is developing faster than ever. A study by Roland Berger shows that AI has already penetrated every sector. In certain sectors, such as high-tech, telecoms, finance, automotive, and assembly, AI adoption exceeds 60%, and in business services, healthcare, and retail, adoption rates are roughly 50%, 40%, and 38% respectively.

Just as digital transformation is a shared vision, the technology itself can be shared too. So, what’s the best way forward? All countries, businesses, and industries are different, and they have unique challenges. So, of course, are their understandings, strategies, pace of development, and approaches to digital transformation tend to differ as well. So true digital transformation is still a long way ahead.

Huawei’s mission and vision is to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. I believe helping industries go digital is a critical aspect to our mission. You could even say we wouldn’t be able to accomplish our mission without the successful digital transformation of industries.

Four Pillars

There are four pillars to our value proposition:

  • Ubiquitous connectivity: We believe that every person has the right to be connected, and Huawei’s role is to bring connectivity to all people and things, and to keep raising the bar for user experience.
  • Pervasive intelligence: We see AI as a general-purpose technology that can help all industries bring every step of their end-to-end value creation process to the next level.
  • Personalized experience: Every person is unique. We are committed to providing personalized products and services so that the individuality of every person is fully respected and their potential is fully unleashed.
  • Digital platform: We firmly believe that digitalization will bring civilization to entirely new heights. We are committed to providing open, secure, flexible, and easy-to-use digital platforms to spark innovation across industries, drive industrial upgrade, and advance social progress.

Digital development relies on digital technology. For digital technology to stay relevant, we must continue to innovate and create value. Cloud, AI, and networks are three critical digital technologies. I’d like to talk about these three today and then touch on what we’re doing to enable low-carbon development. I’ll share some of the progress we’ve made and our thoughts on where the industry is heading.

First, let’s take a look at cloud services.

On September 1, 2016, at the very first HUAWEI CONNECT, I delivered a keynote called “Embrace and Integrate with the Cloud to Become a Digital Enterprise”.

On March 19, 2017, we announced the establishment of our Cloud BU at the Huawei Eco-Partner Conference, held in Changsha, China. At the time we also said that, from 2017 onward, Huawei would ramp up efforts to build open public cloud platforms with public cloud services. We were to focus on select industries and work with partners to build a cloud ecosystem and grow the pie together.

Now, four years later, HUAWEI CLOUD has brought together more than 2.3 million developers, 14,000 consulting partners, and 6,000 technology partners, and also made more than 4,500 services available in the HUAWEI CLOUD Marketplace. It has become an important platform for Internet companies, traditional enterprises, and governments alike to take their organizations digital. HUAWEI CLOUD, together with partner public clouds, now serves 27 regions in more than 170 countries around the globe. According to a study by Gartner, HUAWEI CLOUD was the fastest growing cloud in the IaaS market in 2020, and made it into the top 2 for cloud service providers in China, and top 5 globally. We’ve come a long way, and that’s just the beginning.

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