LIVE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL ANALYST SUMMIT 2022, SHENZHEN: Huawei rotating chairman Ken Hu (pictured) explained 2022 was presenting more daunting challenges than 2021, forcing the company to diversify its portfolio, increase R&D spending and ensure operational efficiency.

Hu highlighted trade restrictions, geo-political conflicts, domestic Covid-19 (coronavirus) challenges, inflation and forex fluctuations as Huawei’s main challenges.

He explained the factors made it imperative Huawei’s business groups avoid any “high-risk areas”.

Hu shrugged off achievements from 2021 displayed prior to his keynote, noting Huawei understands “we are still faced with many challenges” and must “work even harder to overcome these”.

The Huawei chair identified opportunities in areas spanning decarbonisation and delivering efficiency improvements to a variety of industries.

Given the “unwarranted sanctions” and difficulties it faces, Hu said Huawei will continue heavy investment in R&D, citing innovation as its path to the future.

R&D spending in 2021 increased to CNY142.7 billion ($21.8 billion), 22.4 per cent of total revenue compared with 13.2 per to 15.9 per cent between 2012 and 2020.

Huawei recently introduced MetaStudio, a digital content pipeline which moves the entire production process to the cloud.

With the digital and physical worlds converging, Hu said demand for quality digital content will increase: “MetaStudio was launched to help satisfy this”.

He said Huawei’s goal is to deliver 10Gb/s mobile data rates “everywhere” with its new 5.5G equipment, boosting current speeds by more than ten-times.

Zhou Hong, president of Huawei’s Institute of Strategic Research, highlighted a continuous surge in demand for data, with global mobile broadband traffic increasing 250-fold between 2010 and 2020 and 400-times in China.

Hu closed by teasing the launch of Huawei’s latest foldable smartphone, scheduled for 28 April.