Keith Li, the Country Manager for UAE at Huawei Consumer Business Group, speaks about the challenges in 2020 and the opportunities to look forward to, in 2021

How was 2020 for the industry and your company? What sort of opportunities did 2020 bring along?
Our focus on delivering advanced and compelling technology to the widest range of consumers possible has resulted in a successful year so far. According to H1 2020 results, Huawei saw an increase in the market share of 5G devices in the UAE compared with the same period in 2019.

This is a trend we expect to continue to the end of 2020 and into 2021. Figures from the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker report also show that Huawei has seen shipments of 13.7 million devices in Q3 2020, a year-over-year growth of 87.2% compared with the same period in 2019.

We have also run a series of online sales events that have attracted huge interest among consumers in the UAE. Our two-day HUAWEI MEGA LIVE SALE event in November was very popular with consumers and saw AED 1,050,000 of orders in just 30 minutes on its first day. This follows on from similarly successful events held earlier in the year.

Did you face any challenges in 2020?
We embarked on an exciting new journey this year through our Together 2020 strategy. The challenge we faced was to effectively integrate our various platforms, products, and services into a growing eco-system. This has seen Huawei AI, EMUI, Huawei Mobile Services, and 5G come together through Seamless AI Life under the 1+8+n concept.

This means consumers can benefit from Huawei smartphones, PC, tablets, wearables, and more, which now work together as part of a wider ecosystem through Huawei Share. It enables users to enjoy the latest apps on HUAWEI AppGallery as well as be more productive across various devices.

What were your key achievements in 2020?
This year saw our Kirin 9000 5G chipsets, which feature in the new HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro smartphones, become the world’s first 5nm 5G chipset to ship. This means enhanced performance, better graphics, and sophisticated AI capabilities that allow for much more innovative features on the flagship smartphone. We have also successfully developed HUAWEI AppGallery into a platform where consumers can enjoy innovative experiences with apps that are optimised and integrated into Huawei’s unique hardware and software capabilities.

It has quickly become a top-three global app marketplace with 490 million monthly active users on 700 million Huawei devices, and it is available in over 170 countries and regions in the world. The first half of 2020 also saw 261 billion user app downloads. In addition, over 2 million global developers have now joined the Huawei Mobile Services ecosystem with more than 96,000 applications already integrated with HMS Core worldwide.

What promises does 2021 bring along?
We will continue to bring the most compelling and innovative technology to consumers in the UAE through a wide range of products in 2021. Huawei has built a reputation as a company that invests heavily to develop the most exciting technology that helps consumers in their daily lives. Our philosophy is to enable as many consumers as possible to experience this technology in a way that fits in with their lifestyles through a range of attractive price points. We will continue to do that while pushing the boundaries of innovation further.

According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2021?
Consumers demand a more connected experience from their devices and services. Through our 1+8+n concept, which is part of Huawei’s Seamless AI Life strategy, consumers can experience a better and smarter life with their devices. By placing using the smartphone as the hub of the technology that integrates devices such as laptops, wearables, tablets, cars, and more with one another, consumers can effortlessly connect with a variety of shared services and features. This enables them to enjoy greater productivity in their daily lives while developers are able to push their imaginations to create innovative experiences.

What will be your key focus areas for 2021? What milestones have you set for 2021?
We will continue to develop our Seamless AI Life experience by adding even more new smart products and services to the platform. Our current ecosystem of devices and services is already allowing users to do tasks faster and more easily and we will continue to enhance the user experience with greater innovation. We are also committed to pushing further technological advancements in various areas. These include 5G where we aim to maintain our leading position by investing in further research and development to ensure consumers can take advantage of the benefits it offers.

Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2021?
Yes, we have a wide range of exciting and innovative new products and services we plan to add to the market in 2021. These include smartphones, PC, tablets, wearables, and much more. These devices will also be seamlessly linked to our 1+8+n concept to enable consumers to enjoy more immersive entertainment and work more productively.

Any other info you would like to add?
We would like to thank our customers in the UAE and the wider MENA region for their continued support during 2020. We are committed to providing our customers with the highest levels of quality not only in the devices we offer but also through our customer service. We aim to continue that into 2021 and beyond.

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