Digital Europe is already here

Written by Ken Hu on 6 June 2018 in Thought Leader
Thought Leader

Digital Europe isn’t coming, it’s already here, argues Ken Hu.

Digital Europe is here. European governments, industries, and other stakeholders have laid a solid foundation for Europe’s digital future.

Now it’s time to give the continent the boost it needs to secure its reputation for technological leadership and governance in a changing world. Such a collaborative effort will create jobs and transform economies.

Already today, Huawei has more than 11,000 people working across Europe. Together with European citizens, Huawei looks forward to experiencing the benefits of greater connectivity, convenience, and new economic prospects.


Here in Brussels, we will open a Transparency and Cybersecurity Centre in the near future. It will serve as a platform for customers and industry partners to work together on security and privacy protection.

This will help all stakeholders consolidate strengths - and consolidate trust - in the digital world.

At Huawei, cybersecurity is part of our DNA, and we treat cybersecurity with utmost importance. Digital Europe is not merely about Brussels, but also about the digital achievements across the EU member states.

The government of Estonia, for instance, invested early in digital solutions for public services such as health care, voting, and taxes. Today, 99 per cent of Estonian state services are delivered online.

When governments lead, industries follow. The World Bank currently ranks Estonia 12th in the world for ease of doing business. You can apply for Estonian residency on your smartphone and start a business online. Filing tax returns takes about five minutes. By going digital, the Estonian government has created huge growth opportunities for its citizens.

For both social and economic reasons, we need to make sure that all data is protected, and that everyone’s privacy is respected. This is the basis for building confidence in the digital economy. Huawei is fully aware of this, and we are constantly strengthening our approach.

Privacy protection is a joint effort. First, governments need to develop legal guidelines for data privacy protection. Europe is ahead of the game in this area.

The GDPR (general data protection regulation) that came into force on 25 May provides a legal framework for privacy protection in all EU member states. The GDPR is the most comprehensive data privacy law in the world, and it sets a very positive example for all countries.

All organisations and individuals need to obey the law, and do their part to protect data privacy. For the past two years, Huawei has closely examined the GDPR, and we have embedded its requirements into all of our business activities.

We have trained all of 180,000 employees on GDPR requirements, and we have appointed Privacy Protection Officers where needed. To ensure compliance, our internal audit teams have completed thorough reviews in all EU countries. Huawei is ready for GDPR, and we remain committed to privacy protection.

About the author

Ken Hu is Deputy Chairman of the Board and Rotating Chairman of Huawei

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