Dr Mahathir visits Huawei's Beijing Research Centre

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BEIJING (April 25): Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad started his day with meeting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's founder and chief executive officer Ren Zhengfei at the telco giant's Beijing Research Center, which is almost an hour away from the central business district of Beijing.

Accompanied by six ministers — Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking, Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, and Secretary-General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob — the Prime Minister was shown the latest business developments of Huawei's 5G technology as well as artificial intelligence (AI).

Welcomed with a nostalgic song "Rasa Sayang" from back home, the premier and his entourage were quickly led by Ren together with his team of technical experts on a tour around the research centre for about an hour. Ren and his team introduced their technologies, which could be used to better facilitate Malaysia's economic development and serve local communities.

Some of the highlights of the tour are experiencing Huawei's cloud services, as well as industry applications spanning smart city, smart manufacturing, and smart transportation.

Using Huawei's telepresence (teleconference) system, Dr Mahathir spoke with students from Huawei's Seeds for the Future Program who are all back in Huawei's Malaysia Office and at the Malaysia Global Training Center.

As Huawei believes that persistent research and development (R&D) investment brings technology breakthrough, the telco's R&D investment is about 12% to 15% of its annual revenue. Huawei had spent some US$75 billion on R&D from 2008 and 2018, and is expected to spend US$100 billion in the next five years.

"I'd like to thank the Malaysian government for supporting our business development in Malaysia over 18 years," said Ren in a statement today.

"We stand ready to learn and address the government's needs, and share our experience in information and communications technology (ICT).

"We believe that the widespread deployment of 5G will further boost the adoption of ICT and digital technology in Malaysia," he added.

Noting that 5G will also accelerate Industry 4.0 in the country, Ren said Huawei will keep working hard to bridge the digital divide, drive ICT adoption, and provide even more excellent communications and network services for Malaysians.

Since entering Malaysia in 2001 and with its regional headquarters in Malaysia, Huawei has established 11 shared service centers in the country, employing about 2,400 people, around 1,700 of whom are local hires.