Interview with Mr Hudson Liu, Country Manager Belgium, Huawei
Could you please describe the activities of your company in China and in Europe?
Huawei is a well-known telecommunication company and our core business activity is providing telecom infrastructure and services to telecom operators. In other words, to give you a simple example, when you make a phone call, or send a text message, or surf on the Internet, you might be using equipment from Huawei that make all these things happen. Huawei now has about 150 offices around the world. We provide equipment to 45 of the 50 largest operators in the world, which implies that one third of the world’s population is connected via telecommunication services that use equipment made by Huawei. We are active on all European markets and deliver infrastructure and services to European operators.
Anyhow, in Belgium we are also a major provider for Belgacom and Mobistar, mainly providing wireless telecommunication equipment. We also hope that Belgian users will benefit more from faster and more convenient telecommunication technology by using our technology and services.
What is the key factor that led to the decision to invest in Belgium?
Our vision is “To enrich life through communication”. Therefore, wherever our customers are Huawei is there too. Belgium is an important market in Europe, one where Huawei should naturally be present. Belgium is a very open market and is also a free market with a level playing field. Moreover, Belgium offers Huawei a very good business environment. Our business in Belgium also receives support from the Belgian authorities. We enjoy doing business here.
How do you evaluate the business environment in general in Belgium?
It is similar to other European countries. It has been impacted by the global economic crisis and is facing some difficulties. Yet, to a Chinese company, the crisis offers both risks and opportunities (which is the letter. Huawei’s business in Belgium increased nearly 20% last year. We believe that this year we will succeed in finding more business opportunities during this difficult period, enabling us to grow further. In general, we are so far confident in Belgium’s overall economic environment.
What do you think about the education, training, human resources and quality of life in Belgium?
As a Chinese and manager of a Chinese company in Belgium, when I recruit staff, I will first consider whether the locals are well educated and have strong understanding of technology. This is extremely important to a technology company like Huawei. 70% of our staff is local employees. They have a very strong professional background. Therefore, we are satisfied with the Belgian educational system and the availability of qualified human resources /When doing business in Belgium. it is important to understand local languages. Local employees can usually speak Dutch and French, and some can speak German too. And of course everyone here speaks English. So, multilingual skills are critically important.
Moreover, with regard to Chinese people living in Belgium, we need to have an open mind about accepting changes in our lives But living in Belgium is very convenient // We also enjoy Belgian cuisine and beer.
What are the critical success factors for operations in Belgium?
The success of a company has little to do with the location where it operates. For Huawei, the most essential values are hard work and customer-centricity. No matter where you operate from, you should put your customers at the centre, and you should work hard to create added value for your customers. Only in this way can you survive. With this approach, we will be successful in Belgium
How will your company develop in the future?
There are 2 aspects. Our business at this moment is mainly B2B // which means that the majority of our customers now consist of Belgian telecommunication operators. This year, we will help Belgian operators to provide 4G wireless communication services. Meanwhile, Huawei will extend its business to the end-user market, including enterprises. To give you an example, the penetration rate of smartphones in Belgium is only 28%, lower than the average in Western Europe. So, we see a huge potential here. In other words, the smart terminal solution offered by Huawei will help more Belgian users to enjoy mobile telecommunication services and help them to accept the changes in everyday life that this mobile technology brings with it.