Dubai: The Saudi government said on Friday that Chinese technology company Huawei plans to build a flagship store in Riyadh, the largest of its kind outside of China.
Huawei has signed a leasing contract with Saudi Arabia’s Kaden Investment for the store that will allow the Chinese company to have direct access to consumers amid rising demand for digital products and services in the kingdom, the statement said, without giving a date for the opening.
Saudi Arabia expects internet usage in the kingdom to increase from covering 82.6% of the population in 2022 from 73.2% in 2017, the Ministry of Investment statement said.
Last year the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence and Huawei also signed an MOU to recognise Arabic language and character using AI technology and with the help of researchers from the kingdom and Huawei.
The United States has told allies not to use Huawei’s technology to build new 5G telecommunications networks because of concerns it could be a vehicle for Chinese spying, an accusation the firm has denied.
Some telecommunications companies in the Gulf countries, including Zain’s Saudi subsidiary Zain KSA, have signed agreements to use Huawei’s 5G technology.