DURBAN – At the recent local launch of Huawei’s new flagship range, the Huawei P30 series, the company reiterated its commitment to growing the South African ICT sector, connecting more people in our country, and upskilling South Africans.
“At our launch event, we highlighted Huawei’s new groundbreaking range of smartphones. It is technology that we are very proud of and will definitely enhance the lives of South Africans. But we are doing this in other ways, too. Our dedication to ‘Building a Better, Connected South Africa’ has led to more than 80% of South African people being connected to communication networks,” said Likun Zhao, Vice President of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Middle East & Africa (Southern Africa).
Zhao added, “Huawei also currently provides more than 50 per cent of telecommunications equipment and solutions in South Africa, benefiting 70 per cent of the population. In addition, over the past ten years, we have trained more than 20, 000 engineers and ICT professionals at our training centre in Johannesburg”.
Upskilling and bricks-and-mortar investment
Huawei’s investment in the region most recently included establishing two cloud data centres for South Africa and Africa. In 2018 the company also purchased and renovated an office park, the Huawei Office Park, in the ICT Hub of Woodmead, Johannesburg to serve as Huawei’s headquarters for their Sub-Saharan Africa business. This represented an initial bricks-and-mortar investment of R1.2 billion.
Zhao said, “Upskilling and training South Africans is also particularly important to Huawei,” continues Zhao. “This is our key focus area in terms of CSR, as we believe that empowering the people of this country with ICT knowledge will help accelerate the development of South Africa”.
Huawei has also carried out capacity building and training programmes such as Seeds for the Future with the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. Huawei is now also halfway through its five-year project to train 1,000 young South Africans in ICT in China.
Significant growth in SA smartphone market share
Huawei’s share of the South African smartphone market has grown significantly over the past two years. According to GfK, Huawei moved from the No. 3 spot in 2017 to No. 2 in 2018. Globally, Huawei’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) – which measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products – significantly improved in 2018 when the company moved up to second place, replacing Samsung.
Huawei attributes much of its success globally and locally to its focus on innovation, spending about R83 billion on R&D over the past decade. Its P20 series, launched in the second quarter of 2018, achieved global sales of over 18 million devices. This was a 100 per cent increase in the sales numbers of its predecessor, the Huawei P10 series.
Huawei has said that their new P30 series features additional innovations in photography and videography that focus on achieving professional photography effects without the need for photography expertise.