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Richard Yu of Huawei Leads Cloud and Artificial Intelligence


Huawei is expanding the functions of Richard Yu, CEO of consumer business group, to cloud services and artificial intelligence.

The administrative reshuffle comes at a time when the phone division faces an uncertain future and could boost the company's moves in new growth markets amid its struggles with U.S. trade sanctions.

Artificial intelligence and cloud computing are key areas of growth in China over the next few years.

Putting more focus and investments in artificial intelligence and cloud computing is an important strategy for Huawei to seize future opportunities.

He transformed Huawei from a company that designed and manufactured phones for other brands into one of the world's best smartphone vendors in just a few years.

Shortly after being the world's best smartphone maker, Huawei's phone business has declined due to U.S. sanctions.

The CEO, who has worked at Huawei for nearly three decades, will begin his position as head of a cloud and artificial intelligence business on February 7.

The move of a successful veteran to this business unit, created last year, highlights areas where Huawei sees its future, where some of its businesses, particularly smartphones, continue to decline due to U.S. pressure.

Richard Yu has a proven track record with Huawei in various functions, and there should be greater synergy between smartphones and cloud computing in its presence and additional responsibility.

Richard Yu's choice comes at a time when Huawei is undergoing major changes, tasked with determining what comes next for Huawei's smartphone business, as well as trying to turn the company into a cloud computing and artificial intelligence giant, competing with competitors such as Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba.

Huawei's cloud computing division accounted for 16.2 percent of China's cloud services market in the third quarter, behind Alibaba Group's cloud unit, which accounted for 40.9 percent of the market.

Yu was candid about Huawei's ambition to become the world's leading smartphone market leader, even when the Chinese company was small.

After taking over in Huawei's consumer business group in 2011, he stopped providing cheap devices for China's telecommunications companies and upgraded smart devices to the middle and high-end segments.