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Huawei banking on financial digitalization for faster growth

By Zhou Mo | China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-27 08:47
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An employee of Huawei Technologies addresses queries from visitors at a high-tech exhibition in Fuzhou, Fujian province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Huawei Technologies Co, one of the top telecom equipment suppliers in China, is banking on its efforts in promoting digital transformation for firms in the financial and other industries, to achieve a "much faster" year-on-year growth in its enterprise business this year.

Ma Yue, vice-president of Huawei Enterprise BG, said the company plans to set up nine OpenLabs across the world over the next two or three years to help global enterprises transform and innovate by using cloud computing, big data, internet of things and other technologies.

The company has already launched 11 OpenLabs in a number of cities around the globe, such as Munich, Paris and Bangkok, helping boost the digitalization in various industris including finance, transportation, energy and manufacturing in the regions.

Of all the industries, financial industry is one that needs significant change as people are more and more relying on their mobile phones to deal with money rather than going to physical banks.

"Digital transformation has become a trend in the financial industry, financial players are supposed to continuously deepen their digital strategies and transformation initiatives to achieve platform-based strategic transformation," Ma said at Huawei Global FSI Summit 2018 in Beijing on Wednesday.

Huawei's enterprise business unit, which provides services to corporate customers in big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other ICT technologies, saw the fastest growth of revenue among the company's three key businesses in 2017, rising 35.1 percent year-on-year to 54.9 billion yuan ($8.7 billion), accounting for 9 percent of the company's total revenue.

The Shenzhen-based company's two other major segments are telecom carrier and consumer businesses.

"We expect corporate business to achieve much faster growth this year," Liu Limin, president of the financial services sector at Huawei Enterprise BG, said.

Liu's positive expectation is partly based on the motivation among Chinese traditional banks to embrace the change, as they are facing increasing pressure from the rapid growth of financial technology. Alipay and WeChat Pay, the mobile payment services created by internet behemoths Alibaba and Tencent respectively, now take up more than 90 percent of Chinese market share in mobile payment.

"This year, more mobile payments will be done in China than all the card payments in the rest of the world," said Brett King, founder of US-based mobile financial service provider MovenBank and author of Bank 3.0. "If you want to look at leading this change in terms of how your phone is used as a bank account, China is maybe five or six years ahead of the United States with its technology today."

Liu said China's development in bank digitalization will also benefit the financial industry in other countries and Huawei will continue to make investments to help banks across the world to accomplish the transformation.

According to Huawei, its digital banking solution has been put into commercial use in more than 300 financial institutions across the world, including four Chinese banks and two overseas all listed in the global top 10.

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