[MWC 2022] Huawei says its 5G tech ‘game changer’ in Korea with new safety law
Chinese company’s automated solution could prevent disasters at industrial sites, execs say
Published : Mar 3, 2022 - 06:00
Updated : Mar 3, 2022 - 10:42
Visitors take pictures of the Huawei booth at the opening day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Monday. (AFP-Yonhap)
BARCELONA, Spain -- The 5G network solutions by Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies could be a game changer in South Korea as its companies are now left vulnerable to a controversial workplace safety law that came into effect in January.

At the Mobile World Congress 2022 held in Barcelona, Spain, Huawei’s exhibition at Hall 1 presented 5G solutions that enable automated disaster prevention, currently deployed across China.

One of the solutions exhibited is a mining site run by unmanned equipment, drones and a data center that powers 5G connectivity, and others included a chemical plant that detects and predicts failures with 5G solutions.

These solutions, as part of “5G B2B” projects in 3,000 locations across China, were presented to Korea’s Science Minister Lim Hye-sook during her visit to Huawei’s exhibition on Tuesday as real-life applications to ensure workplace safety.

In particular, Korean firms could stand to benefit from the 5G mining solution, which was deployed in a molybdenum mine in China’s Henan province for the first time in 2020, Park Seong-ho, vice president of Huawei Korea, said during his presentation to reporters at Huawei’s MWC exhibition. 

Huawei's exhibition booth at MWC 2022 depicts a model of 5G-powered workplace safety solutions (Son Ji-hyoung/The Korea Herald)
In Korea, the senior management of a company is subject to a prison term in case of a fatal accident at a workplace, as it would violate the Serious Accident Punishment Act.

Since enacted in January, Korea saw two violations of the law. One involved a quarry landslide in Yangju, Gyeonggi Province, by construction material maker Sampyo Industry, and another was an explosion at a factory in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, by Hanwha-backed petrochemical firm Yeochun NCC.

Huawei might consider deploying the new 5G solution targeting Korean enterprises, as long as the specific industrial site is 5G-ready, Huawei Korea Chief Executive Officer Sun Luyuan told reporters on the sidelines of the exhibition.

“A convoluted set of technologies related to communications, IT and operations must be combined to apply 5G solutions to a certain field of industry,” Sun said.“The (5G-powered) smart mining solution is an example which shows how important it is to ensure that the (5G ecosystem) is stable and that (our) requirements are met for each business scenario. All components of the 5G ecosystem, ranging from devices to artificial intelligence and applications, must be established to execute the scenario.”

Sun added that while Huawei is engaged in a local private 5G network project as part of “5G B2B” in Korea, he expects the Korean market to be ready for “a business environment that is very open and consistent.”

This year marks the 20th year since Huawei established its operations in Korea.
Huawei Korea CEO Sun Luyuan (left) and Huawei Asia Pacific Vice President Jay Chen pose for a photo at Huawei’s exhibition during MWC 2022 (Huawei Technologies)

By Son Ji-hyoung
Korea Herald Correspondent