Huawei Consumer Business Group hosted “The Future of Innovation” event in Dubai, UAE on 20th September 2017. The event highlighted the key innovations Huawei is driving in the consumer smartphone industry, both globally and regionally, as well as Huawei’s brand ambition to become a global iconic technology brand. The event also saw Huawei bring together innovative minds from China and top regional companies to participate in an open panel discussion focusing on the theme of innovation. ePanda, the Chinese start-up facilitating connections between China and the Middle East, was a key cooperation partner for the event.
The engaging panel discussion was attended by thought leaders from some of the region’s top innovative companies, including Souq.com, Etisalat, Sony Music Entertainment Middle East, Lamsa, Digital Media Services (DMS), and The SmartStart Fund. Together with leading Chinese entrepreneurs, the group explored opportunities for innovative Chinese companies to expand their reach into the growing Middle East market. The panel covered two vital topics. The first topic highlighted the changing perception of Chinese products and services in the region, and the eagerness for growing the innovation sector in the Middle East through partnerships with Chinese entities. The second topic focused on digital entertainment, bringing to light the need for innovation in content and the importance of localization of content for the region.
Mr. Justin Chen, Managing Director of MENA Consumer Cloud Services, Huawei CBG, said, “China is the world’s leading innovation hub, offering highly intelligent consumer products, created using high-end manufacturing processes. The perception of Chinese products has shifted drastically over the last few years and China is now recognized as offering uniquely innovative and highly customizable goods. We are pleased to be able to bring together Chinese entrepreneurs with like-minded entities in the Middle East, who are a driving force for innovation in the region.”
Given the region’s increasing focus on driving innovative technologies, the panel provided an opportunity to highlight the importance of the Middle East as the next global innovation hub, as well as how Chinese entrepreneurs’ learnings and successes can be applied to this region’s burgeoning entrepreneurship space.
Prashant (PK) Gulati, Founder of The SmartStart Fund and moderator of the panel commented, “The rise of China and Chinese products in the level of innovation and sophistication is extremely impressive and continues to grow. The interaction of innovation thought leaders from China with their counterparts in the Middle East has been a great learning experience for both, leading to a new era of collaboration. There is a lot for both sides to share and learn from each other and grow together."
Rita Huangzhen, Founder of ePanda, commented, “China and the Middle East have a long history of trade and recently we have seen more Middle East consumers embracing products and technology from China. The reputation of ‘Made in China’ is continuing to grow with a positive perception. For example, China's electricity business in the Middle East GMV is expected to reach $ 1 billion in 2017.”
Wang Feng, Chief Reporter of Harvard Business Review (Chinese version), added, “Innovation is inseparable from the globalization thinking, and to create value for consumers one must localize. In line with that, localization of Chinese innovations is significant, regardless of the size of an enterprise. We are now seeing that emerging enterprises are adapting to globalization and this is something small businesses have to pay close attention to succeed.”
The panel discussion closed with Huawei highlighting the brand’s support for the Middle East region’s commitment to innovation growth.