Huawei Technologies Co said on Thursday it will offer greater support for the digitalization of European small and medium-sized enterprises, as the Chinese tech giant showcases its long-term commitment to the continent regardless of challenges.

David Li, President of Huawei West Europe, said SMEs are the backbone of the European economy, and central to the European Union’s industrial strategy.

“But there are still huge gaps between SMEs and large enterprises, in digital strategy, talent, technology and capability. During the pandemic, the need to go digital has become even more pressing than ever. We want to use the information and communications technology to help European SMEs stay competitive. We want to help them go global,” Li said at the second round of Huawei European Innovation Day 2020, an event held online in Germany.

European Innovation Day 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of Huawei in Europe and its long-standing commitment to supporting digital development across the continent. Although it faces a challenging environment at the moment, Huawei said it has an unwavering determination to keep serving its customers, working with its partners and innovating.

Li said digitalization can help SMEs achieve two key goals. First, it will help them enlarge their customer base with digital technologies. SMEs can reach global customers just like large enterprises.

Second, new technologies like artificial intelligence can help SMEs meet customers’ needs more accurately and help them achieve mass customization, Li said.

Georgios Kyrtsos, member of the European Parliament and a board member of SME Europe, a business association that represents the interests of SMEs, also shared his thoughts on challenges SMEs face throughout their digitalization process at the event.

“Digital and ecological transformation go hand-in-hand and will shape our economic future. Medium-sized companies are facing a major challenge. They must adapt to a new, highly competitive, globalized and digitized environment. The digital economy and its major international players can provide the necessary technologies for the digital transformation,” Kyrtsos said.

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