China helped us cut costs and grow as a company, PH phonemaker says

By Rizal Raoul Reyes

Building a relationship with China proved to be beneficial to a Filipino technology company as it enabled ​them ​to grow its business in the local market.

Wellington Liu of Huawei, Dr. John Paolo Rivera of AIM, and Eric Yu of Cloudphone. (RRR)

Photo shows (from left) Wellington Liu of Huawei, Dr. John Paolo Rivera of AIM, and Eric Yu of Cloudfone

“Our success is because of our relationship with China. We stayed the course that allowed us to reach a higher level and developing a higher quality but affordable products,” Eric Yu, founder and chief executive officer of Cloudfone in a recent forum on Philippines-China Economic Forum: Towards Philippine Inclusive Growth held in Makati City.

The event was organized by the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies (PACS) and the Integrated Development Studies Institute (IDSI).

Yu said it was a challenge in the early part of doing business with Chinese companies, which have a a different mindset and were not used to dealing with foreign partners. “Aside from the language barrier, Chinese companies were also concerned how they can get their return on investment, profitability, among others,” Yu said.

“As we matured and grew up in the business, we were able to work with competent suppliers,” Yu said.

By partnering with Chinese companies and Qualcomm, Cloudfone was able to sell a smartphone as low as P1,000. In their initial foray into the Philippine market, Yu said their phones were selling at P7,000.

Moreover, Yu said Cloudfone encountered a problem when it partnered with the National Basketball Association (NBA) for their content development program. He said the NBA was not used to transport content to the mobile devices because it was not popular in developed markets such as the United States.

Right now, Yu said Cloudfone is major goal is to reach out to the younger market specifically the millennials and the Generation Z.

To attract this market, he said Cloudfone will continue to pursue innovation and adopt evolving design approaches and technologies and rapid product introductions.

“Our biggest growth remains the replacement market as a lot of Filipinos replace their old mobile phones in a short span of time,” Yu said.

In the same forum, Wellington Liu, Huawei Technologies head of public affairs and communication, said the Shenzhen-based company will give a strong focus on research and development jobs to explore future developments. “Huawei is also considering to harness artificial intelligence for the future,” Liu said.

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