Today is the day we visited Huawei! I had been looking forward to this day for a while because Huawei is a leading technology company, but also has a poor reputation in the states due to security concerns. As we pulled up to the building, we passed Huawei’s research and development lab which is home to 10,000 engineers. The business center was jaw-dropping. It felt like it walked into Buckingham Palace, not a company. The foyer was all marble and stone with a grand, red-carpeted staircase to the right and a massive chandelier made of crystal. We began our tour in their showroom which was as equally jaw-dropping. As soon as we walked in there was a giant screen showing a moving picture of a waterfall. The graphics were so clear that they looked faked. The water could have easily been flowing off the screen and on to the carpet.
The showroom featured all of the company’s technology including their 5G network, smartphones, and very lightweight, small cell phone towers. The showroom had a TV that was a 8k high definition picture which was unbelievably clear. Our tour guide told us that 8k HD will be available soon and eventually people will be watching 16k high definition from their couch at home. I found the uses of the 5G network to be very interesting. The 5G bandwidth will drastically increase download speeds and be able to handle more users, from my understanding. One unconventional use that tour guide shared for the use of 5G was in fish farms. 5G would allow the fish farmers to better monitor the fish remotely and feed them remotely. Also, with the use of cameras, the 5G network would allow for higher resolution images within the farm, so diseases could be caught before they spread to other fishes. Another area where 5G would help would be during European soccer games. I never thought about it before, but European soccer games attract tens of thousands to close to a hundred thousand people. This strains the network with all of the users in one area. However, 5G would help this greatly and allow all of the fans/users to be able to use their phones effectively while everyone else is, too.
After asking the tour guide, I found out that Huawei’s 5G network could be rolled out in leading countries by 2020. However, it is expected to be two or three years before it is widely available. The tour guide informed me that there were two elements influencing rollout. The first is that users need to be ready to use it or have devices able to operate on the network. The second is the infrastructure needed to support the network. Huawei is the closet company in rolling out such a network by far, so 5G may take a while to get to America because of the ban.
When we got to the phones, all I can say is that Apple has some catching up to do. Drew and I took the best selfie I have ever taken; it was so clear. Max zoomed in from across the room and was able to read words on the wall, but my iPhone could barely make out that there were words there at all.
After the tour we had coffee or tea and pastries in an extravagant dining room that supposedly is used for meetings with leading government officials. During this, we learned about Huawei’s corporate social responsibility and the business in general.
Following Huawei, we visited VIPkid which primarily teaches Chinese kids English. This visit was interesting, but a lot less flashy than Huawei. I learned a lot about the education system in China and was surprised to learn that most parents are willing to spend 55 percent of household income on after school education for their children.
At night, we visited the Olympic park from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. To get there we took the subway. Once there we saw the Bird’s Nest which is a stadium that can hold 100,000 people. Also, we saw the Water Cube, an indoor swimming pool. The cube is interesting because it is made of “bubbles” that change colors.