LIVE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL ANALYST SUMMIT 2016, SHENZHEN: Huawei emphasised its goal of becoming a top-tier consumer mobile device brand, while acknowledging that this will be no easy task.
Eric Xu, rotating CEO of Huawei, said: “As you may know, up until now, China has not yet produced a high-end consumer brand. Therefore we want to take that as a mission, and hopefully in the next five to ten years we can do that.”
The comments come after a bumper 2015 for the Chinese vendor, which saw Huawei ship more than 100 million smartphones to lag only Samsung and Apple. And the company’s results show this is delivering rewards.
The Consumer Business Unit, however, was much less heavily featured here in Shenzhen in comparison to its telco and enterprise businesses (last week the division announced its 2016 hero smartphone, the P9, at an event in London.)
Glory Zhang, CMO of its consumer group, noted that Huawei’s global brand awareness increased to 76 per cent last year from 65 per cent in 2014, but she acknowledged that it “has to change something” to make more people familiar with the Huawei brand and match its rivals.
“This year we are really serious about building our brand,” she said, noting it will focus on creating “a new visual expression” and introducing new digital marketing initiatives. But she was short on specifics on how the company plans to execute on that vision.
In response to a question, CEO Xu also played down speculation that the company is mulling a joint venture with Foxconn to target the Indian market. Such a move would enable Huawei to reduce its financial burden related to importing devices into the fast-growing market, and echo similar strategies from a number of its key rivals.