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Huawei Sets Eye on Indonesian Startups to Develop Cloud Business

Chinese technology behemoth Huawei has been aggressively developed the cloud computing business in line with the decline in the smartphone or smartphone business this year. 

In Indonesia, Huawei is preparing a number of strategies, such as targeting the startup and collaboration market. Chief Digital Officer, Cloud APAC Huawei Leo Jiang said, Huawei's plan to enter the cloud business is to expand the ecosystem. 

"Cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) are our new focus," said Leo at the Wild Digital Indonesia event, Wednesday (8/9). 

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei also briefly told his staff that the cloud will be the company's priority in 2021. However, he emphasized that this step is not to compete with Alibaba, Microsoft or Amazon. This is to reduce the scale of pressure on the smartphone business line by the United States (US).

As a result of this pressure, Huawei's smartphone business has indeed plummeted. Canalys noted that Huawei was knocked out of the top five positions in the global mobile phone market share in the first quarter of 2021. The company only shipped 18.6 million units in the first quarter of this year. In fact, during the third quarter of last year, Huawei occupied the second largest market share beating Apple. Huawei managed to ship 51.7 million phones, with 14.9% market share at the time. 

Leo said Huawei will also expand its cloud market share in a number of countries, including Indonesia. There are a number of strategies that Huawei has prepared to penetrate the cloud market. First, Huawei is targeting the startup segment. "Our partners in Southeast Asia are startups," said Leo. Huawei is targeting startups because of their huge potential. Startup transactions surged during the Covid-19 pandemic as people turned to digital services to avoid transmission of the corona virus. Many startups are also adapting quickly, supported by cloud computing technology or cloud

To target the startup market, Huawei, for example, created the Huawei Spark acceleration program. "This is for up-scale startup. We also provide funding," he said. Huawei noted that 100 startups in the world participated in the program. Then, 1,000 startups are incubated. Second, increasing the ability of digital talent in the cloud field. The Chinese technology giant, for example, collaborated with the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) to train more than 400 employees with AI, cloud, 5G and big data materials at the end of last year. Last year, Huawei also provided 1,000 Huawei Cloud E-Learning Service accounts for 500 Indonesian universities.

The third strategy, collaboration with various ecosystems. "In the digital economy, collaboration is very important," he said. Leo said, a number of collaborations that Huawei wants to continue to try, such as with the government, universities, to companies in various sectors. 

However, in the Indonesian market, Huawei has to compete with global technology giants who are also aggressively developing the cloud. Amazon's subsidiary, Amazon Web Service (AWS), for example, plans to build three data centers (data centers) in Indonesia by the end of the year or early 2022 to develop a cloud business. 

Microsoft is also planning to invest US$ 1 billion or nearly Rp 13.6 trillion to build a data center in Indonesia. Alibaba Cloud has even built two data centers in the country in 2018 and 2019. Alibaba Cloud Indonesia Country Manager Leon Chen said the demand for cloud services in the country continues to increase. Alibaba is also committed to investing US$ 28 billion or around Rp 435 trillion for the development of cloud services for three years. 

Indonesian companies are also participating in the cloud business competition. PT DCI Indonesia Tbk inaugurated the fourth data center in Cibitung last May (27/5). The DCI facility, named the JK5 Building, has an electrical capacity of 15 MW. In total, DCI has a capacity of 37 MW for the four data centers.