Some multinational electronic companies like Intel, Samsung and Nokia have already established production bases in Vietnam. Will Huawei follow them to set up factories in Vietnam or just supply components to manufacturers in Vietnam through export operations?
We have no plan for manufacturing products in Vietnam, because we have 44 per cent of workers in research and development (R&D) centres, while only 8 per cent of workers are at manufacturing facilities.
This means that Huawei mostly focuses on R&D activities, not production. You can imagine that if Huawei produced smarphones, the price of one smartphone produced by Huawei itself would double one assembled by Foxconn. In the past, we cooperated with VNPT to build an ADSL component assembling factory in Vietnam. VNPT was fully responsible for the assembly.
However, due to the market slump, this factory does not import components from Huawei any longer. Last year, Huawei invested $3.8 billion for R&D activities, accounting for 12 per cent of the group’s revenue. In the future, we will continue focusing on R&D activities.
What is your strategy for marketing and distributing products in Vietnam? Who are your potential customers?
We have two teams, one working for sales and the other on post-sales services, which account for 70 per cent of total staff in Vietnam. At this moment, we have a close relationship with many partners including Viettel, VNPT, MobiFone, VinaPhone, Gtel and Vietnammobile who are using our end-to-end solutions. In the coming time, Huawei will focus on smartphones offered to individual users at reasonable prices and ICT offered to government agencies, banks and enterprises.
Huawei is now the second largest telecoms solutions provider. So what is your strategy for the global market and for Vietnam?
For us, customers are the centre. We provide customers safe and advanced end-to-end ICT solutions at reasonable prices. Besides telecom solutions that we have already strengthened our position, we are now focusing on expanding ICT solutions for government agencies and enterprises in all industries.
Moreover, handset and smartphone products are also our priority. We’ve just jumped into the handset market and Huawei targets to become one of the leading brands in the market.
Last year, we sold 20 million handsets in comparison with five million sold in 2010. This year, the number will triple, reaching 60 million smartphones and revenue will be $100 billion in the next 10 years.
We consider Vietnam one of 15 prioritised markets. So that, besides providing telecom solutions for service providers in Vietnam, Huawei will develop ICT solutions and expand distribution of smartphones and handsets in this market.
Do you plan to establish an R&D centre and an information security assurance centre in Vietnam?
The precondition for establishment of R&D and information security assurance centres is quality of workforce. We also think of boosting R&D in Vietnam’s ICT industry through the centre’s establishment.
This is the reason why we encourage creativeness and investment in human resources in Vietnam. We support training courses in Vietnam and hope this will spur the production of solutions, software in 3G and 4G. We appreciate the Vietnamese government’s efforts in improving the education system, especially in the ICT industry.