Speaking in his office in Sakura Tower, Yangon, on January 11, Ren Geng said: “I think Myanmar is a very important market for Huawei, so we’re paying a lot of attention.”
However, Huawei, which operates in more than 140 countries, sees itself as a provider of telecoms solutions in the Myanmar market rather than as an operator, he said.
“The SEA Games will be very important as Myanmar opens up to world, and we have rich experience in supporting those kinds of events,” he said.
President U Thein Sein talked about Huawei’s donation on September 20 of about US$3 million worth of equipment to the SEA Games organisation and $2 million for building a mobile technology system to the state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecommunications, he said.
“We’ve already donated a total of $5 million fourth generation mobile systems, as well as video conference systems in support of the SEA Games, the president’s office and for MPT,” he said.
Mr Geng also cited his company’s donations to the post-Nargis recovery and previous assistance given to MPT in 2009.
Speaking of the possibilities of a country where only 5 percent of the population owned mobile phones, he said: “Myanmar is a potential market for all players in the telecommunications industry all over the world. MPT has announced that they will sell telecoms licenses to both foreign and local companies. This is good news, because we can compete in the market.”
On the other hand, Mr Geng noted three challenges: finance, investment and talent.
“Government revenue is low, while telecommunications require huge investments to improve infrastructure, so I think finding the necessary finance is a real challenge,” he said.