Business / Technology

Chinese telecom company Huawei thrives in Latin America

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-21 13:57

SAO PAULO - Chinese telecom company Huawei is thriving in Latin America, as the firm grows as a hardware supplier and starts to work with local partners in research and innovation.

Huawei, a global telecommunications technology and equipment provider, and manufacturer of consumer electronics, has been operating in the region for 16 years and has offices in seven countries, from Argentina in the south to Mexico in the north.

"Latin America is an important and strategic market for us," said Yang Guanglin, director of public relations at Huawei's South American branch. "It has huge potential demand for electronics."

As many as 109.5 million smartphones were sold in the region in 2014, a 59 percent increase from 2013, according to German market research firm GfK, as consumers replaced their old cellphones with 3G and 4G devices.

Anna Jaguaribe, director of the Institute for Brazil-China Studies, said that with improved quality and advanced technology, Chinese products are no longer stereotyped as mass-produced low-cost goods of dubious quality, and can compete on par with Western brands.

"This competition can benefit consumers by pushing prices down, " Jaguaribe said.

Huawei's business in this region includes equipment and solutions for telecom operators, consumer electronics terminals and customized terminals for business usage.

The cooperation with local telecom operators has laid a good foundation for development of the company's business, Yang said.

"We have been working closely with top local telecom operators like VIVO and TIM in Brazil, Claro in Peru, Movistar in Mexico and Tigo in Paraguay to provide consumers with customized terminals and favorable mobile service packages," Yang said, noting this helped Huawei build a large consumer base in a short time.

Telecommunications technology support is another important part of the firm's business in the region.

In Colombia, Huawei provides customized telecommunications technology service to main local mobile telecom carriers; in Brazil, six out of seven 4G mobile networks were constructed by the company.

Given the rapid growth of the sector, Huawei also began to invest more to promote wireless technology inventions for this market, in collaboration with local universities, governments and research institutions.

Last year, Huawei provided two cloud computing systems to facilitate education development in northern Brazil, offering platforms for online teaching and information sharing.

Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Clelio Campolina Diniz said the systems will help boost education and healthcare development in the northeast, and help the region build closer connections with other developed areas of the country.

The company will strengthen joint research with local partners on new technologies for this region, Yang said.

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