[Updated at 10:18 a.m. on July 30, 2021, for clarification from Huawei]
Jakarta. Chinese tech behemoth Huawei’s research and development investments in Indonesia increased substantially in 2020, in a bid to propel the latter’s digital transformation, according to the Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun.
“Indonesia has established a number of cooperations in the digital sector with other countries like China, which is one of the world’s largest digital players. In its [digital] endeavor, Indonesia has engaged with a number of outstanding Chinese companies such as Huawei,” Djauhari told an online conference on Thursday.
“Huawei’s investments in research and development [R&D] in Indonesia [...] since 2009 have increased substantially,” he added.
In Indonesia, Huawei has employed over 2,500 workers. Of that number, almost 90 percent are Indonesians. The diplomat also applauded Huawei’s contribution to nurturing Indonesia’s digital talents.
"[The recently established] Huawei Asean Academy Engineering Institute have engaged with 33 universities in Indonesia. Their programs have benefited about 12,000 engineers and 7,000 students," Djauhari said.
The envoy called for Huawei to continue its investments in Indonesia, particularly in digitally transforming the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) — Indonesia’s economic backbone. So far, Huawei has assisted the digital journey of more than 500 Indonesian SMEs, who run in different sectors and absorb more than 20,000 employees.
“I encourage Huawei to enhance its cooperation with our stakeholders in Indonesia, especially on SMEs’ digital transformation, telecommunication infrastructure, 5G technology, and artificial intelligence,” Djauhari said.
Bridging the digital divide between rural and urban areas is among the company’s focuses, according to Huawei Asia-Pacific vice president Jay Chen. In Indonesia, Huawei has rolled out the RuralStar program to enhance internet coverage in remote areas.
“The innovation is lower cost, by replacing traditional powers with sustainable ones — shifting from diesel to solar power. By the end of 2020, the RuralStar program has benefited over 60 countries, including Indonesia,” Chen said.
Clarification: A previous version of this article mentioned Huawei's investment in Indonesia reaching billions of dollars in 2020. Huawei clarified that an amount of that magnitude was for the company's global investments, which included a substantial increase for Indonesia.