(Yicai Global) Sept. 24 -- Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies plans to invest more than CNY130 billion (USD20 billion) in research and development this year, focusing on building cloud services infrastructure.
The Shenzhen-based firm revealed new cloud services, including its distributed cloud-native product Huawei Cloud UCS and an Application Platform as a Service product, at the Huawei Connect 2021 event yesterday. The headline R&D figure is almost 10 percent less than in 2020.
Cloud could be a new income driver for the Chinese firm. The phonemaker, which sold its budget handset brand Honor in late 2020 amid headwinds in its supply chain abroad, boosted its net profit by 3 percent to CNY64.6 billion (USD10 billion) last year from 2019, according to its earnings report. Revenue climbed 4 percent to CNY891.4 billion. Meanwhile, its R&D investment jumped almost 8 percent to nearly CNY141.9 billion.
Huawei Cloud is expanding its global data center and network layout, with services now available in Mexico and in Ulanqab in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The facility in Inner Mongolia is Huawei Cloud's largest global base, Zhang Ping’an, chief executive officer of the business unit, told Yicai Global in an interview yesterday.
The telecoms equipment maker is shifting from the earlier Infrastructure as a Service model to PaaS, which indicates a widening range of business intelligence and database management services. "Everything as a Service" was mentioned several times at the conference. Thus, Huawei's original technologies such as operating system, database, and algorithms are expected to become a bigger part of its platform offering.
"The new cloud organization structure is no longer only for a single cloud service like computing service and storage service," said Zhang. "We have established three business departments for cloud business scenarios -- public cloud, partner cloud, and Huawei Cloud Stack."
Huawei's investment in cloud business is still increasing, according to Zhang. The company will continue to unveil the R&D results of its 100,000 engineers after investing tens of billions of US dollars in the business each year, the unit's CEO added.
Editor: Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi