Karl Song: Huawei Will Continue Supporting Digital Transformation Across the Middle East
During an exclusive Middle East roundtable to discuss Huawei's 2021 annual results from a Middle East business perspective, Karl Song, VP of Global Communications, Huawei, highlighted how the company has been at the forefront of the ICT industry, reiterated its competitiveness across the world and commitment to supporting the Middle East digital transformation.
Commenting on Huawei's recently announced annual report, Song said, "Our total revenue in 2021 reached 99.9 billion dollars and we generated a net profit of 17.8 billion dollars with a net margin of 17.9%. Huawei recorded an increase of 75.9% year-on-year in terms of net profit, and overall, we wrapped up the year in a solid financial position."
"The harder things get, the more we are investing in the future. In 2021, we increased our R&D investment to 22.4 billion dollars, representing 22.4% of our total revenue. Both our R&D expenses and R&D expense ratio reached a 10–year high in 2021, and Huawei ranked second in the 2021 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. Our total R&D investment over the past decade is more than 132.5 billion dollars," added Song.
Song further reiterated Huawei's intention to continue investing heavily in R&D to strengthen its innovation in systems engineering and drive fundamental changes in three areas: fundamental theories, architecture, and software.
The company reported steady performance in its ICT infrastructure business while new business segments like digital power, which is of special importance to the Middle East markets and cloud grew rapidly and its ecosystem development efforts have entered the fast lane. "In the Middle East, Huawei continued to play a pivotal role in the development of the region's ICT industry, enabling digital and intelligent transformation accelerated across industries. Innovations in 5G, cloud, AI and other fields are pushing the digital economy into a new phase of development," said Song.
"The Middle East is ahead of many other regions when it comes to adoption of advanced technologies. Because of the fast roll-out of 5G, for example, some countries in the region serve as a real proof point of how technology can help to advance the development of all industries, especially when integrated with technologies such as cloud and AI," he added.
Globally, Huawei collaborated with carriers and partners to sign more than 3,000 commercial contracts for industrial 5G applications. In 2021, 5G saw large-scale commercial deployment in many industries, including manufacturing, mining, steel, port, chemical, cement, power grid, and healthcare. Huawei's 5G solutions for industries have been replicated at scale across eight typical application scenarios, including remote equipment control, data collection, and product quality inspection.
"5G remains a crucial enabler of digital transformation across the Middle East. Huawei enabled the first wave of 5G deployment in many countries across the region. Moving forward, we remain committed to contributing to the Middle East countries' technology ambition, especially in light of the mega-events such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and help create unparalleled value and experiences for the users," he stated.
Song also highlighted the trend for green development, which has become a globally recognized mission, specifically vital to the Middle East's sustainable future in-line with the carbon neutrality targets many countries in the Middle East have already set. As a leader in the global ICT industry, Huawei has been developing innovative green technologies that make ICT products more energy efficient. Using its simplified site solution, renewable energy, and intelligent technologies, Huawei helped carriers in more than 100 countries deploy green sites.
"We are strong supporters of the Middle East region's green ambitions and the strategies of countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and others to move towards carbon neutrality. Many of our partners across the technology landscape also desire to participate in climate change action. This movement involves innovating green, low-carbon networks and data centers while promoting clean energy development. We are doing this today through Huawei Digital Power, including many strategic projects in the Middle East," said Song during the roundtable.
Huawei Digital Power looks at five areas of business globally: Smart PV, data center facilities, mPower for electric vehicles, site power, and integrated energy solutions. Song reiterated that Huawei Digital Power sees the Middle East region and the Gulf specifically as strategically important as it seeks to contribute to a low-carbon, smarter society powered by digital technologies. "While we will have cooperation with businesses in all of the previously mentioned five domains in the GCC, I believe that Smart PV and data center facilities are particularly important to this region," he added.
The Huawei executive noted that in UAE, the company partnered with Moro Hub, a subsidiary of DEWA, to roll out the largest 100% green power DC in the region. In Saudi Arabia, Huawei is constructing one of its largest projects in the Red Sea to roll out an energy storage infrastructure with a capacity of 1,300 gigawatt-hours.
"Even in a post-pandemic environment, we see clear opportunities to support Middle East organizations in their digital transformation and reimagine the future. It involves bringing technological advances to even more industries and creating new value by helping governments and enterprises go digital while operating more intelligently. The task ahead is about ensuring all people benefit from technological progress," Song concluded.
Huawei remains committed to contributing to the development of the region's ICT ecosystem and nurturing local talent through cooperation with governments, universities, and industry organizations. Its annual initiatives include the Huawei ICT Academy, Seeds For The Future, and the Huawei Middle East ICT Competition— the latest edition benefited 15,000 students across the region. Through these programs, Huawei has already empowered the skilling and upskilling of many young people in the region.
Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.