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Thai gov't to deepen collaboration with China's Huawei amid pandemic

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-11-21 10:54

A self-driving delivery vehicle equipped with Huawei 5G technology is launched at Bangkok at Siriraj Hospital, June 25, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

BANGKOK - The Thai government intends to further deepen its digital cooperation with Chinese technology company Huawei, senior Thai officials said at a cloud event held in Bangkok this week.

During the Powering Digital Thailand 2022 on Nov 17-19, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said digital infrastructure, such as 5G, is crucial to Thailand's economic and social development, especially for the country's post-pandemic economic revival.

Badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism-reliant nation registered an economic contraction of 6.1 percent last year, the worst in more than 20 years. However, the pandemic has significantly accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in Thailand, where Chinese tech companies have competitive advantages.

During the pandemic, Huawei used its technology to help local hospitals implement systems for automated medical supply, AI-backed diagnosis and remote treatment, which greatly improved the efficiency of hospitals and made healthcare more accessible.

Fueled by Thailand's digital roadmap, Huawei has focused on helping the country build 20,000 5G stations in the past two years. Currently, Thailand has more than 4.2 million 5G subscribers, leading in 5G adoption among ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.

Visitors look at an automatic sorting assembly line based on 5G, AI and cloud technology at the Huawei exhibition in Bangkok, Nov 17, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Another strength of Huawei has been its cloud capabilities. Deng Feng, general manager of Huawei Thailand, said Huawei Cloud is the only cloud service provider with local data centers in Thailand, considering that data localization is a key trend of global enterprises due to government regulations as well as security concerns.

He emphasized the Huawei will support Thailand's low-carbon and digital development in the future in four areas, including expanding 5G coverage and usage, providing cloud services, creating low-carbon development with digital energy, and cultivating industry talents.

Thai Minister of Digital Economy and Society Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn expressed his hopes for comprehensive collaboration between the Thai government and Huawei to facilitate the country's digital economy, which is targeted to account for 30 percent of the GDP by 2030.

According to a joint report released by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company earlier this month, Thailand's digital economy is expected to exceed $30 billion this year, up 51 percent, making it the second-largest market in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

Huawei's Rotating Chairman Guo Ping said the company will continue innovating and building a tech ecosystem to facilitate faster digitalization in Asia-Pacific, and invest $100 million over the next three years to build a startup ecosystem in the region.

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