Chinese giant Huawei has opened a cloud data center in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in an effort to provide public cloud services to customers in the country, as well as other parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
The company is eyeing opportunities in Saudi Arabia with its first public cloud service in the Middle East, while facing increasing geopolitical tensions in Western markets.
The cloud data center in Riyadh, which is Huawei's 30th center globally, supports government services for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and allows artificial intelligence applications and linguistic models in Arabic.
Huawei aims to support Chinese companies to explore the Saudi Arabia market as well as help Saudi companies expand globally through new cloud services that offer a range of capabilities, including artificial intelligence applications.
Stephen Ye, President of the Middle East and Central Asia Region at Huawei, said: “This center represents a bridge to bring other Chinese companies to Saudi Arabia. We will achieve growth across the Middle East and Africa region by working with local companies.”
Yi pointed out the contribution of this step to the development of the country's digital economy, adding that this year Huawei opened its regional headquarters in the Saudi capital.
Saudi Arabia has previously indicated that it will not sign contracts after this year with foreign companies that do not have regional headquarters in the Kingdom.
In the first quarter of this year, Huawei ranked fifth in the global cloud services market, with a market share of 2.4 percent, even though it was the second largest vendor in China, according to Canalys, a research consulting company.
In February, Huawei pledged to invest $400 million over the next five years to launch a regional center for cloud services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The company also plans to support 200,000 new developers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and work with 1,000 local partners and 2,000 startups with cloud computing services. .
Huawei provided the Pangu artificial intelligence model trained to support the Arabic language. “This technology acts as a catalyst to accelerate the growth of local companies,” Yi said during the event.
In the Middle East, the company has more than 200 government-related clients, more than 30 financial services companies, and more than 150 Internet companies as cloud services clients.