During its 2023 Connect conference, Huawei reaffirmed its commitment to developing AI and creating a competent computing “backbone” for its Chinese consumers. 

This backbone will be necessary to help train AI foundational models for businesses. 

In her keynote speech, Huawei’s Deputy Chairwoman and CFO Meng Wanzhou clarified that the company’s end goal was to “help meet the diverse AI computing needs of different industries.” 

In addition to creating a computing backbone for China, Meng also stated that Huawei was interested in becoming “another option for the world”, directing Huawei’s attention globally. Despite this, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that this year’s Connect event coverage by non-Chinese media was cancelled last minute. 

Looking forward to Huawei’s future, Meng stated that the company will continue to “dive into the product and tech domains where [it] excels… and to provide cutting-edge, easy-to-use industry solutions.” 

Huawei’s recent release of its new smartphone chip, named the Kirin 9000S and has 5G connectivity potential, was criticised by the US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. 

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By GlobalData

Raimondo was reported to take issue with the timing of Huawei’s release since it coincided with her state visit to China. 

In response to Raimondo’s concerns, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry Mao Ning replied that it was Huawei’s decision alone to release the Kirin 9000S when it did. 

Ning also criticised the US’ attempts to “hobble” Chinese tech companies, stating it would only serve to spur on Chinese tech innovation and competition. 

Huawei appears to share these ambitions during comments made at its Connect conference. 

Concluding her keynote speech, Meng stated that Huawei would find “strength in solidarity” and “victory through grit”. 

“We will keep strengthening the synergy between hardware, software, chips, edge, devices, and cloud to provide fertile ground for a thriving ecosystem,” Meng stated. 

Huawei also unveiled a new whitepaper on AI during this conference entitled Accelerating Intelligent Transformation, which contains case studies and recommended practices of incorporating intelligent business and public service solutions. 

In its 2023 PESTLE review of China, research analyst GlobalData stated that there was a significant increase in Chinese R&D expenditure. 

According to the research, R&D expenditure as a percentage of total GDP rose from 1.8% back in 2011 to 2.6% in 2021. 

“With China producing the second largest number of science and engineering graduates after India,” the analyst explained, “the abundance of R&D institutes will positively impact the country’s technological future.” 

Between the years 2021 to 2025, GlobalData estimates that Chinese R&D expenditure could increase by more than 7% every year.