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Huawei has big plans for native ecosystem in SA

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Huawei Consumer Business Group SA CTO, Akhram Mohamed.
Huawei Consumer Business Group SA CTO, Akhram Mohamed.

Huawei plans to use its native ecosystem, Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), as well as the rest of its technology capabilities, to empower local entrepreneurs, business, talent and technology.

This is the word from Akhram Mohamed, CTO of Huawei Consumer Business Group in SA, speaking on the occasion of the official local launch of the latest flagship, the P40 series, last week.

During the launch, which was broadcast via livestream, Mohamed detailed how the Chinese telecoms giant’s technologies are being utilised for “good” across the globe.

According to the CTO, in Europe, Huawei’s technology in artificial intelligence and mobile devices is used to assist kids with hearing impairments learn how to read.

Furthermore, the artificial intelligence in Huawei devices is used in hospitals across the world to identify early visual impairments in children, and in the Amazon, the company’s technology is being used to save the rain forest, he stated.

In terms of SA, the Chinese technology giant is looking to aid local talent, technology, business and entrepreneurs, and showcase them to the world.

“There is a barrier to entry when it comes to technology. Many South African companies, as good as they may be, just cannot compete with larger multi-nationals and their financial resources. Huawei, however, is present in 170 countries.

“On AppGallery alone, we have more than 400 million monthly active users. We are then able to take South African business, entrepreneurs and technology, and give them access to these markets.”

Alternative ecosystem

After being placed on an export blacklist by the US Department of Commerce last May, Huawei began working on its native mobile ecosystem, HMS. As a result of the ban, Huawei was restricted from accessing US technologies and software services such as Google Mobile Service (GMS) on its new devices.

Last month, the US extended for another year an executive order signed in May 2019 declaring a national emergency on Huawei.

Amid the US and China trade war, Huawei has been caught in the crossfire between the world's two biggest economic powers.

HMS is the technology giant’s effort to create an ecosystem of applications, application programming interfaces and cloud services, with the Android-based EMUI used as the device interface.

The alternative ecosystem is also described as an enabling platform for third-party developers with tools and services to create their own apps.

On the challenges of the last year, Mohamed said the restrictions on Huawei’s use of certain technologies were a way to knock it down completely, so that it may never get up again.

However, the company showed its strength to fight another day, and developed its own ecosystem of apps, HMS along with AppGallery.

“Every time we were knocked down, we get up and fight again,” he stated. “Huawei has been constantly pushing the boundaries of innovations as well as collaboration for many years, allowing us to become the number one technology company and technology infrastructure company in the world.

“We also have become the second largest smartphone manufacturer on the planet. However, we also understand what it’s like being the underdog.

“In a space of a few months, HMS and AppGallery has grown to become the third largest app ecosystem on the globe. We are very proud of this and we firmly believe technology and innovation can be used for good.”

HMS ready

With the availability of the P40 smartphones, Huawei now has four devices running on HMS in the local market.

The company first rolled out the Huawei Y7p, followed by the P40 lite, and now the P40 Pro and P40 are the latest smartphones to enter the market with the GMS alternative ecosystem.

In SA, the P40 Pro and P40 are available from all mobile operators and its online store as of today.

The smartphone manufacturer has also welcomed some local celebrities as new P40 series ambassadors. They include rapper Nasty C, TV personality Thando Thabethe, actor and entrepreneur Nay Maps, former Miss South Africa Tamryn Green as well as fashion designer David Tlale.

Huawei says its P40 series represents its vision of the future of mobile imaging technology.

“It is a comprehensive upgrade from the previous generation, embodying all conceptual innovations realised by Huawei. The Huawei P40 Series is equipped with Huawei’s most sophisticated camera system to date, capable of producing breath-taking imagery with a lightweight chassis.

“These devices are testament to the fact that Huawei is unafraid to break the rules and to exceed expectations, and it does all of that in style.”

The Huawei P40 Pro is retailing at R20 999, while the P40 retails for R16 999.

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