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Bullying and business go hand in hand as China eyes ASEAN market

Bullying and business go hand in hand as China eyes ASEAN market

With America, Europe, India and Australia shutting their doors on China’s tech giants such as Huawei due to security reasons, these companies are now looking at strengthening their presence in alternative markets such as ASEAN to keep their business going. Ironically, while the dragon has been bullying these countries over territorial claims on the one hand, it also believes in doing business with them on the other.

Huawei is hard selling the idea that ’’in order to boost the regional recovery in the post-COVID 19 era, ASEAN should accelerate its digital integration which has the potential to generate a US $1 trillion uplift in GDP by 2025.’’

China’s leading telecom hardware company pushed this approach at an online meeting with Indonesia’s Dr. Aladdin D. Rillo, who is also the Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economic Community. Indonesian policymakers, academics and industry experts also participated in the meeting.

The key role that Huawei is expected to play in this grand plan to digitize ASEAN is quite clear as Aladdin D. Rillo said : “I look at digital connectivity and transformation as important priorities and cross-cutting issues that affect every sector in the economy. Therefore, it would require a multi-stakeholder approach or response. And, this also requires participation from stakeholders including private sector, like Huawei,” said Aladdin D. Rillo.

He also stated that ASEAN needs the contribution of all stakeholders, from country, academia, to the private sector – including companies like Huawei – to address a number of priorities in the region and ensure that digital transformation is here to stay.

These include improving digital skills, promoting digital data governance and strengthening cyber security. This can be accomplished through two possibilities, firstly by sharing data to guide policies and deliver public services, and secondly by providing digital solutions to achieve resilience.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, information and communications technology (ICT) has been playing foundational roles in the fight against the coronavirus and helping ease its adverse impacts. Across the ASEAN region, industries have started to put more confidence that ICT will be a major push to speed up post-pandemic recovery. The digital transformation strengthens connectivity among ASEAN country members to better use digital technology to sustain and grow business, governments and societies of 650 million population, Rillo said.

Jay Chen, Vice President of Huawei Asia Pacific, said that leveraging knowledge, technology and data, digital integration will help synchronize ASEAN member countries’ efforts to boost the regional economy and open doors for ASEAN to solidify its place as a true and autonomous economic power in the new global digital economy.

“As a leading global provider of information and communications technology infrastructure and smart devices, Huawei is dedicated to working with our global partners to support ASEAN on its initiatives for regional digital transformation and integration,” Chen added.

The strong pitch made by Huawei comes at a time when the US has also started the process of revoking China Telecom’s authorisation to operate in the United States as part of the strategy to remove the role of Chinese companies in U.S. telecommunications as they pose a security risk.

The Chinese government has been strongly supporting these companies and has been hitting back saying US claims about them posing a risk to national security were false..