Huawei strengthening ties with the U.K.
2013-October-17 Source: Szdaily web edition
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Shenzhen-based Huawei Technologies Co. hosted a delegation of U.K. technology companies at its headquarters during Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s visit to the company yesterday, as part of its broader efforts to promote cooperation with the U.K. telecom sector.

“I have every confidence in Huawei’s future in the United Kingdom,” said company founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei, in a statement yesterday.

Osborne, who is in China this week on a five-day trip, met with Ren yesterday.

Huawei, the world’s second-largest supplier of telecom equipment, said it is investing US$200 million to build a new research and development center in the United Kingdom. The latest investment is part of the plans that Huawei announced last year to spend US$2 billion over five years on R&D and component procurement in the country. In June, Huawei opened its new U.K. headquarters — a 140,000 square-foot complex in Reading.

Huawei already has a R&D office in Ipswich, where it employs over 80 engineers. The company said it expects its R&D engineering jobs in the United Kingdom to increase to 300 by 2017 with the addition of the new center.

Huawei faces a harsh environment in the United States, where it has been effectively shut out of the market due to national-security questions raised by U.S. politicians.

Last year, a U.S. congressional report recommended that U.S. carriers avoid using Huawei’s equipment, saying there were concerns that the gear “could be used by China to spy on Americans.” Huawei has denied such allegations.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in June, Li Sanqi, chief technology officer of Huawei’s telecom gear business, said that the company didn’t see any opportunities to sell network equipment in the United States for at least the next couple of years. By contrast, Li said that Huawei saw major opportunities in the United Kingdom, where its customers include BT Group PLC and Vodafone Group PLC. “We are building our second home in Europe, and the United Kingdom is a major part of it,” he said.

Huawei, which generates about 70 percent of its revenue outside China, sells its network gear, such as routers, switches and antennas, to more than 500 carriers globally. Having outpaced many Western competitors in that market, the company is now closing in on industry leader Ericsson.

Editor: Olivia
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