HEART OF INNOVATION

Spain 2020 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

Huawei can attribute its success in Spain to its superior technology and the openness of the Spanish market.

Tony Jin Yong
BIOGRAPHY

Tony Jin Yong was appointed CEO of Huawei Spain in 2015. The previous year, he held the position of managing director of Carrier Business Unit in Spain. He has years of experience in the telecommunications sector and has served as CEO, sales director, and solutions director in several Latin American countries. He has a bachelor's in telecom engineering. He started his career in Huawei almost 17 years ago, five of which were in China, eight in Latin America, and four in Spain.

How has Huawei evolved since entering Spain in 2001, and what is the importance of this market for its global operations?
Spain is one of the first countries where we started developing our foreign operations, back in 2001. At that time, we had only one country manager, one local sales person, and a secretary. It was challenging work in that the telecommunications industry is highly complex and the density of technical requirements is such that at the beginning we had to solve the issue of how we could gain the trust of operators in the industry. At first, it seemed that in order to get a meeting, we needed to spend three weeks explaining ourselves, knocking on the doors of mid- and low-tier managers and engineering chiefs; however, we quickly gained the trust of consumers thanks to our superior technology. Our success in Spain was partially possible due to how open the Spanish market is. Medium-sized telecoms operators like Jazztel started in 2004/2005, followed by the big operators like Vodafone and Telefónica. Throughout our time here, our innovative spirit and the quality of our products has consistently won the trust of the industry. This would not have been possible without the openness of the Spanish market and consumers. During this journey, we have treated Spain as a top priority and even built a joint innovation center with the top operators here, always introducing our latest technologies in this market first.

What is the strategic plan in terms of expansion in Spain as Huawei looks to maintain this growth?
Spain is the perfect place to introduce innovative digital technologies, such as AI, 5G, big data, and cloud services because of the strong long-term relationship we have with the telecoms operators such as Telefonica, Vodafone, and Orange. Thanks to the government, regulations, and ambition of the leading operators, the Spanish digital infrastructure is amongst the best in the world, especially in terms of the fiber backbone. This is highly important because it can provide opportunities to everyone, not only the rich and middle class, but also those in rural areas, to leverage broadband and gain more opportunities, such as those wrought from e-commerce, online education, and external communications. 5G is a key technology, and Spain was quick off the mark, with the government making the decision in 2018 to finalize the first step of the C-band spectrum auction. There are large accounts in Spain, but also a lot of medium-sized, global corporations that are agile, intelligent, and fast moving, and these companies are open to new digital technologies. During this digital transformation, we were able to not only collaborate and introduce our solutions to those companies, but also work to jointly promote our technology as part of a greater solution.

Can you elaborate on the division of your consumer and corporate operations? Which takes priority in Spain?
Globally, we have four business groups. One is the carrier network division, which serves the telecoms operators to provide digital infrastructure. The second is the consumer division of smart devices, watches, and wearables. The third is the enterprise division, which provides digital solutions and digital infrastructure to different verticals, such as public administration, transportation, energy, utilities, banking and financing, and manufacturing. The last division is the cloud, through which we provide public and private cloud solutions. We operate that cloud business independently in China and via collaboration with Deutsche Telekom and Orange in Europe. In Spain, we operate all these business units, and they are all priorities in their own right. Our consumer business accounts for almost 50% of our total revenues, but our enterprise and cloud businesses are growing quickly. After so many years of silence and since access to financing has increased, Spain's green energy sector is now exploding. Many Spanish EPC companies are working with Huawei to expand their business into Latin America, especially Brazil, Mexico, Central America, and Colombia.