I know Huawei is big in China but I have never expected it to be so big. Just at Shenzhen, the Huawei HQ is sitting on a 2KM2 area. Thanks to Huawei for the invite, I got to know more about Huawei brand, the HQ and of course, their future products.
This is going to be a very long blog post. If you wish to have a summary of what I have done in Shenzhen, check this video out.
If not, read on.
To cover the whole Huawei HQ in details in just a day or two, it is not possible. I will share with you some of the areas inside Huawei HQ.
There are a total of 11 blocks in Huawei HQ – From Block A to L (there is no I block). Block A is the Administration Block and it has a very nice man-made lake with imported black swans 🙂 .
However, I think the highlight is the office of Huawei’s Founder, Mr. Ren Zhengfei, which is sitting next to the lake, in the midst of a jungle. I love it. Too bad, we did not get to see what’s inside the office.
Moving on, we went to Block J. Love the design inside this area where the Huawei University (or known as the training center) is.
Check this out. Nice, right?
F1 Exhibition Hall
Next, the F1 Exhibition Hall in the Block F area. It is a big hall where Huawei displays their latest technology and products.
Here is one chart (presented to us) which seems to be the common slide in the next few days. Interesting fact – Almost half of the workforce is in R&D. This really shows how committed Huawei is when it comes to technology and research.
Here is our guide showing a very interesting lamp which is actually a PoleStar where it houses communication hardware (but disguised as a street lamp).
If we think 4G is fast, 5G is way faster. With 5G network, a movie (in gigabytes) can be downloaded in seconds.
Check out some volunteers having fun with the VR headset with 5G network.
Here are the sensors on top tracking the movement of the players.
Next is Mobike. In this exhibition hall, it showcased 3 generation of Mobikes.
From the description of the Gen 1 and Gen 2, it seems that battery size has been increasing.
Here is the 3rd generation of Mobike.
And some features of it. Check out the usage time when fully charged – 35 months!!
Interview and Discussion
One of the highlights of our visit is the Interview and Discussion sessions. It is one of the time we can dig more information about Huawei and its future products.
Our first presentation is by Huawei Senior Director of International Media Affairs, Benjamin Howes. He shared with us the history of Huawei. If you are interested, you can check out the details HERE too.
Took some pics of the presentation.
Huawei has an interesting concept of rotating their CEOs periodically.
Another interesting concept about Huawei is that Huawei is an employee-owned company. What it means is that the employees have shares in their company.
Before we know Huawei as a smartphone maker, their initial business is mainly in networking and telecommunication.
Our next speaker is Global Brand Director of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Mr. David Kim.
I love this slide. Comparing to top brands like Apple or Samsung, Huawei is looking at a different path.
If you have read the news recently, Huawei, for the first time, might become the second-largest smartphone maker, surpassing Apple.
If you think this will allow bragging rights from Huawei, you might be surprised about their reaction to this information. They are happy to become number 2 smartphone maker in the world but they clearly understand this might be short-term.
Instead, they focus on what’s ahead of them. Instead of dabbling in different electronics devices like other brands, they are focused on what they do best.
They invest a lot in R&D. For their upcoming smartphone, they will incorporate their latest Kirin 970 chip (made by Huawei) and Leica lens. However, he stops short of letting us know what’s new on the new Mate 10 which will be unveiled on 16th October in Munich, Germany.
Our next speaker is Director, Product Marketing, Huawei Consumer Business Group, Mr. Clement Wong. He touched on my favorite topic, Huawei Product and AI.
PS: We were shown an up and coming product but I can only say this much:). It is not Mate 10.
To understand what we can see in future Huawei flagship smartphone, these few slides will give us an idea.
Check out how Huawei Kirin 970 performs when it comes to image recognition using its CPU, GPU and NPU.
As a Network and Telecommunication company, you can only expect the best in that area. Check out the 4.5G LTE technology.
While competitors are coming out with Dual Lens, Huawei is moving a step ahead incorporating NPU (Neuro Processing Unit) into their up and coming smartphones. I have done a blog post on the Kirin 970. Click HERE to check out.
I think this slide sums up the features that will be incorporated into their flagship smartphone.
If you want to learn more about Huawei and Leica, click HERE.
Huawei Store and Service Centre
Our next stop is a visit to Huawei store and Service Centre which is situated at Hua Qiangbei (华强北).
The Huawei Service Center is the typical setup found in major brands’ service center. It has a ticket machine for you to get your queue number and a number of counters to support the customers.
What is more interesting for me is the backup area. It has a few computers to help customers to back up their smartphone data so that Huawei engineers can help to repair them. Their commitment on the repair is an hour.
While waiting for the repair, you can check out their engraving machines (you have to pay separately though).
The Service Center also has a small corner selling accessories. Feels like you are in an Apple store (that is my opinion).
Thank you, Huawei, for letting me know more about its history, branding and their commitment to present the best to consumers.
There is actually another talk on Product Quality during my 2-day stay at Shenzhen. I will keep it until the next post because the next post is about their secret R&D labs in Beijing.
Based on the few days with Huawei, I am confident that Huawei is able to come up with a product that is aligned with consumers’ needs (e.g. better battery life, better camera (Leica), safe, durable and stylish).
Before I end this post, these are my thoughts in general about China. Singapore is embracing itself as a Smart Nation progressively. However, looking at how China has progressed in terms of Cashless Payment, we are so far behind.
I vividly remembered when I first visited China many years ago, if I want to buy a product, I will need to buy the receipt. Another person will pack the product and I will have to queue up again to redeem this product.
Now, I will just need an e-Wallet (Alipay, WeChat Pay or Huawei Pay) to scan and pay for the product. I am actually amazed at how they have integrated QR code to everything. From payment of goods/service to using the massage chairs, and literally everything that you could think of. Here are some examples.
And here is the ultimate one. I did not take these pictures and could not authenticate if they were real. Someone sent to me. You be the judge (PS: I could not find one with QR code in Shenzhen or Beijing).