Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei and President of Consumer Business Group in Europe Walter Ji took to the virtual stage for IFA 2020 to highlight the company's role in Europe. And also reportedly to pronounce its fighting spirit, amid ongoing US sanctions.
The 26-minute long speech primarily showcased Mr. Ji, who took the opportunity to highlight Huawei's historical role in Europe. Not only does the company directly employ 14,000 workers in the region. It also has 200,000 more employees across 23 research sites, Mr. Ji noted. And it is the fifth-largest research and development investor in the EU as of 2019.
For 2020, the company has expanded on that via its offline presence, the executive pointed out. And it plans to expand more via demo stores in several regions of the continent. That includes France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, and the UK.
Huawei isn't ready to quit yet, IFA 2020 keynote indicates
Huawei's Ren Zhengfei reiterated the importance of those investments. The chief executive summarized R&D efforts as employing more than 90,000 workers.
The CEO says that's more than would ever be seen with "Wester" companies. He also highlighted that the company is only going to grow, as it's been pulling in new staff across every metric of its business. That's as opposed to backing down from increasing US-imposed sanctions.
Perhaps as importantly, both Huawei executives claimed that Huawei's difficulties have given it an advantage. Namely, those have led to more "heroes" at the company. In fact, the company continues to see all of its workers as heroes, according to Mr. Zhengfei. And the company is planning to react accordingly, with regards to the sanctions.
Specifically, Huawei indicates that it won't be laying off any of its 'heroes', anytime soon. Instead, now is the time for it to continue its growth trajectory, the executives indicated.
Where is Huawei still growing?
Huawei has, for the past several months, reported growth almost unanimously. That's despite sanctions preventing it from forming new chips partnerships and from embedding itself more deeply in several global 5G roll-outs. But the primary focus for the company right now, according to reports, is apps.
Mr. Ji noted that Huawei is adding around 5,000 apps per month to its AppGallery, which Huawei says is the third-largest app marketplace globally. The company has, the executive says, a dedicated team working to bring those apps over from Google Play Store. The team is utilizing the Petal Search engine to determine how that's happening, with the focus on the most popular of the apps.
That focus, Mr. Ji concludes, is a key to helping Huawei remain a leader in the European market. As are its focuses on AI, IoT, VR, and next-gen connectivity.