LIVE FROM HUAWEI CONNECT, SHANGHAI: Ken Hu, Huawei rotating chairman, expressed confidence its founder’s surprise offer to transfer access to its 5G technologies to a western company has the potential to increase competition in a market with only a few suppliers, after years of consolidation.
“If it gets implemented, the move would support more competition across the global supply chain which will be beneficial to consumers and contribute to the development of the industry,” he argued.
Hu said Ren Zhengfei’s proposal is not complex, noting that as 5G is making rapid progress around the world, there is a growing debate around the security of its 5G gear.
“You can take a commercial approach to 5G if it’s under your control and you can develop the technology. In that sense it will help alleviate security concerns,” he explained.
He reiterated the company’s insistence that the concerns are groundless, and “based only on suspicion, doubts or guesses”.
Last week, Ren revealed it would consider selling access to its 5G technologies to a company based outside Asia to ease concerns about spying.
With the first wave of 5G deployments only just underway in many countries, Hu said Huawei will have to wait a while until 5G accounts for a sizeable proportion of its carrier group’s business. “By mid-2020, when the first rollouts in China will be completed, we’ll have a clearer picture.”
Asked about steps it is taking to mitigate the prospect of not running its smartphone on Android, he didn’t offer specifics but said it is “leveraging our cloud services and we continue to provide more tool kits for developers”.
Huge developer push
In his keynote on computing in the age of intelligence, Hu said the company plans to invest $1.5 billion over the next five years to expand its developer community from 1.3 million to 5 million.
Indeed, Huawei’s search for more developers is made urgent by the fact that its new series of smartphones, to be launched tomorrow (19 September), will not have licensed access to Google’s apps.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back