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Qualcomm progresses thanks to technology, products, partnerships

By Ma Si | China Daily | Updated: 2018-05-16 09:58
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Frank Meng,Chairman of Qualcomm China. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Please use three words to describe China's changes in the past 40 years.

Growth, globalization and innovation.

This is a very exciting and meaningful topic for me personally. In the second half of 1978, I started my college education in China. Now, 40 years have passed. China has undergone dramatic development both economically and socially.

Today, China is one of the most vigorous developing economies in the world and a global manufacturing power. China has valued innovation and industrial upgrade as the new growth engines more than anything, particularly for achieving the high-quality development agenda set by the 19th Party congress. China's technological innovation capacity has greatly improved. Initiatives such as Internet Plus, Big Data Development and Made in China 2025 and will continue to create a positive impact for the economy.

What are the biggest achievements made in China since the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy 40 years ago?

It is an amazing achievement that the Chinese nation with 1.3 billion people has transformed itself in such a short time from an impoverished agricultural land into a global industrial powerhouse. China has managed to raise over 700 million people above the poverty line through its reform and opening-up policy, and has vowed to get rid of all remaining poverty by 2020.

From an economic perspective, China has become the world's second-largest economy. The country has managed to sustain steady, rapid economic growth over the years, playing a critical role in driving global economic growth.

From the people's perspective, Chinese people today enjoy not only well-developed high-speed railways and road networks, but also "invisible" yet significantly improved infrastructure such as the telecom network.

Moreover, wireless technology has powered innovative products and services like mobile payment, bike-sharing and online shopping, which have significantly changed the way people live and work here in China.

What's the biggest challenge China faces today and how can the country overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges that all countries including China face today is to sustain innovation. The innovations of science and technology in China have been increasing rapidly, which is a historical breakthrough.

Innovation comes with risks, so an incentive mechanism could encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to make bold R&D investments and unlock creativity. A sound policy structure and framework, like the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, would protect and incentivize inventors, and it is very encouraging to see that China has stepped up efforts in IPR protection over the past few years.

How has your company benefited from the reform and opening-up policy?

Qualcomm has not only witnessed but also participated in and contributed to China's reform and opening-up. Moreover, we have benefited immensely from the policy.

Qualcomm has been in China for over two decades, and China has long become one of the most important regions for us. We invent technology, share as easily and widely as we can, and we try to collaborate with everybody in the mobile ecosystem at any ecosystem level.

We are proud that our unique "Invent - Share - Collaborate" business model has brought together the ecosystem of China and the US to create a tremendous success between the two countries. Over the years, our partnerships in China have been expanded across the entire ecosystem.

Today, we have a solid footprint in China, including two R&D centers in Beijing and Shanghai, a server chipset joint venture in Guizhou, an internet of things joint venture in Chongqing and a semiconductor testing facility in Shanghai. In 2016, we established Shenzhen Innovation Center to better support Chinese manufacturers' overseas development.

How do you view China's role in the world today?

As the world's second-largest economy, China continues to play an essential and positive role in the global economy.

Taking the mobile industry for example, China is home to more 4G subscribers than any other country. Moreover, China is home to seven of the global top 10 smartphone manufacturers, and made 1.9 billion mobile phones in 2017. Qualcomm is proud to be a supporter and contributor of the prosperity of the Chinese telecommunication and mobile internet industry.

China also plays an increasingly important role in international governance, through both existing bilateral and multilateral mechanisms such as the WTO and G20 and new mechanisms such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the BRICS.

Could China's experiences and practices be used to solve global problems?

Over the past three decades, income inequalities have risen to unprecedented levels in many countries. Fostering inclusive growth is at the top of many governments' agendas, including China. China's success in poverty alleviation is a role model for other developing countries that undergo similar challenges.

Nowadays, the development of the digital economy, including all internet-based services, e-commerce, e-business and telecommunications, plays an important role in tackling inclusiveness challenges. China has made tremendous achievements in developing the digital economy and still has huge potential in this respect, as well as successful experiences from which other developing countries can learn.

As part of the efforts to develop the digital economy, the Chinese government has also encouraged operators and enterprises to improve telecom infrastructure.

Apart from economic development, what progress in other areas have you witnessed in China in the past 40 years?

China has attached great value to innovation and has become an impactful scientific and technologic power around the globe. Chinese companies are among the global leaders of frontier technology innovations such as 5G, artificial intelligence and the IoT.

I'm also very proud of all the talents in the country, especially the new generation. The year 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Qualcomm's collaboration with Chinese universities and research institutes with a focus on R&D through different programs. In the past years, we have seen so many innovative young minds with determination and enthusiasm, who are well poised to contribute to the telecom industry and the development of cutting-edge technologies.

Name: Frank Meng
Age: 58
2015 onwards: Chairman of Qualcomm China
2013-15: President of 21Vianet Group
2010-13: Senior vice-president of Motorola Mobility, and president of Motorola Mobility China
2003-10: President of Qualcomm China
MS in electrical engineering, Polytechnic University of New York
BS in microwave and fiber optic communications, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Family: Married

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