Huawei: Celebrating 20 years in Europe

Written by Abraham Liu on 11 February 2020 in Thought Leader
Thought Leader

Achieving digital sovereignty is key, writes Abraham Liu.

Abraham Liu | Photo credit: Huawei Europe

2020 represents a special year for Huawei in Europe: 20 years ago, Huawei established its first European R&D centre in Sweden. This was the first step of many that has seen a strong and lasting collaboration emerge.

Today, we employ over 13,300 people in Europe, running two regional offices and 23 R&D sites. By building on our common history, values and interests, we can take this partnership beyond 2020 and develop sovereign digital leadership for Europe and a better future for everyone.


Huawei is very well placed to help Europe achieve digital sovereignty. However, Digital sovereignty needs to be understood on various levels. First, it refers to decision-making independent of political pressure from other world regions and players.

Second, it means developing alternatives to the existing dominant providers in the sector. Currently, it is non-European companies that are dictating many areas of the digital realm.

Europe should react by building true European competitors and partnering with global tech leaders – like Huawei – to create genuine alternatives to those US companies that currently seek to control the world’s digital destiny.

"5G will actually help safeguard Europe’s social model and the European way of life"

It is about staying true to principles of openness, competitiveness and fair trade – values which Huawei shares. These principles have contributed to interconnected, global markets, for which 5G is perfectly designed. Indeed, the 5G supply chain is one of the most integrated in the world.

Ours is truly a global industry. Healthy competition helps all vendors become more innovative and competitive, and Huawei can help Europe in this through our willingness to share and transfer our most innovative technologies.

For Europe not to seize this opportunity would be a missed opportunity and a betrayal of the great industrial and innovation history of this continent. It would be giving up the possibility of leading the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Digital sovereignty can and should be a win-win situation for both Huawei and Europe. Without it, Europe would find it difficult to achieve other goals, such as its “European Green Deal”. Throughout 2020, the deployment of 5G across Europe will gain momentum.

"Digital sovereignty can and should be a win-win situation for both Huawei and Europe"

Huawei’s 5G solution is not only the best on the market, it is to a large extent a European product. Many of the technologies have actually been developed by the researchers and scientists in Europe.

Huawei wants Europe to be at the vanguard of this 5G revolution, to boost Europe’s economy and reinforce European industry’s leading position. 5G will actually help safeguard Europe’s social model and the European way of life.

Huawei cares about a strong and united Europe, and we are ready to work with the European Union to roll out 5G the European way. Huawei’s 5G is an integral part of the solution for Europe’s contemporary challenges.

About the author

Abraham Liu is Huawei’s Chief Representative to the EU Institutions

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