Chinese technology firm Huawei plans to establish a flagship store in Riyadh, the largest such store outside China, the Saudi government said on Friday. More about the Huawei Saudi Arabia store below.
Huawei has signed a leasing contract with Saudi Arabia’s Kaden Investment for the store that will allow the Chinese company to have direct access to consumers amid rising demand for digital products and services in the kingdom, the statement said, without giving a date for the opening.
Saudi Arabia Expects a Surge in Internet Usage by 2022
Saudi Arabia expects internet usage in the kingdom to increase from covering 82.6% of the population in 2022 from 73.2% in 2017, the Ministry of Investment statement said.
Last year the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence and Huawei also signed an MOU to recognise Arabic language and characters using AI technology and with the help of researchers from the kingdom and Huawei.
The United States has told allies not to use Huawei’s technology to build new 5G telecommunications networks because of concerns it could be a vehicle for Chinese spying, an accusation the firm has denied.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Supported by Huawei’s Partnership in Talent Development and Innovation
Some telecommunication companies in the Gulf countries, including Zain’s Saudi unit Zain KSA, have signed deals to use 5G technology from Huawei.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance Khalid Al-Falih called Huawei one of the “most valued and long-standing digital partners” that is ahead of the curve in recognizing the investment potential of the kingdom’s telecom sector.
“Huawei has played an instrumental role in Saudi Arabia’s development, collaborating with government and private enterprises … it continues to share our commitment to talent development, innovation and ambition … the values which underpin Vision 2030.”
Saudi Arabia’s Booming Economy and Digital Transformation Attract Huawei’s Business Expansion Huawei saudi arabia
The kingdom is the biggest economy in the Arab world and is undergoing a significant digital transformation.
The country’s rate of internet penetration is expected to rise to 82.6 percent of the population in 2022. The figure stood at 73.2 percent in 2017.
The Huawei shop will give the telecoms company direct access to Saudi consumers and provide an “immersive full-scenario experience”, according to Terry He, chief executive of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia is an important market for us and we are dedicated to providing the very best communications technology to the kingdom, as well as to investing in the growth of the local information and communications technology ecosystem,” he said.
As a central driver of Vision 2030 reforms, the telecoms industry is now the fastest growing in the Mena region, and the world’s 13th largest. It is valued at $20 billion and set to hit $35bn by 2030.