Bri­tain set to OK Huawei cy­ber center

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By SHEN JINGTING in Bei­jing, ZHANG CHUN­YAN and CE­CILY LIU in Lon­don

Chi­nese tele­com equip­ment maker Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd said it is deeply com­mit­ted to the Euro­pean mar­ket, es­pe­cially in the United King­dom, since the coun­try pro­vides a su­perb in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment.

Huawei will sink $200 mil­lion into a new re­search and de­vel­op­ment center in the UK. In ad­di­tion, the com­pany is work­ing closely with BT Group, a Bri­tish tele­com ser­vice group, to ex­pand a na­tional broad­band net­work that cur­rently cov­ers 15 mil­lion UK house­holds, Huawei said in a state­ment on Thurs­day.

Vic­tor Zhang, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Huawei UK, said the coun­try is home to an out­stand­ing pool of tal­ent and a hub for world-class busi­ness ser­vices.

“Lon­don is one of the world’s best-es­tab­lished strate­gic fi­nance hubs and one in which Huawei has based its global Fi­nance Risk Con­trol Center,” Zhang said in the state­ment.

“As a renowned and in­flu­en­tial de­sign hub, it is also an ex­tremely con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for in­no­va­tion. In part­ner­ship with lead­ing Bri­tish de­sign in­sti­tu­tions, Huawei’s Lon­don-based global de­vice de­sign center will guide de­sign con­cepts for our flag­ship smart­phones and de­vices,” Zhang said.

The new R&D center will be lo­cated at the Ip­swich re­search of­fice, which now has about 80 staffers. By 2017, the center is ex­pected to em­ploy more than 300 se­nior re­searchers.

In the next five years, Huawei plans to in­vest 5 mil­lion pounds ($8.17 mil­lion) with which sev­eral elite UK col­leges can de­velop big data and fifth­gen­er­a­tion (5G) mo­bile net­work tech­nolo­gies, ac­cord­ing to Zhang.

In June, Huawei ex­panded its op­er­a­tions with a new UK head­quar­ters in Read­ing. The com­pany will in­vest 1.3 bil­lion pounds over a five-year pe­riod.

Xiang Ligang, a Bei­jing­based tele­com ex­pert, said Huawei’s ag­gres­sive ex­pan­sion into the Euro­pean mar­ket is in stark con­trast to the com­pany’s stand­off in North Amer­ica, where Huawei has met with stiff en­try ob­sta­cles.

“The Bri­tish mar­ket in­deed lends more sup­port to Huawei,” Xiang said.

Bri­tain is set to con­di­tion­ally clear Huawei to run a UKbased cy­ber se­cu­rity center next week af­ter a re­view found the center to be safe, ac­cord­ing to an ar­ti­cle in The Times on Wed­nes­day.

Be­fore his China trip, Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron cited Huawei’s in­vest­ment in the UK and said “there should be no limit to the co­op­er­a­tion that we look for”.

Huawei sup­plies soft­ware and equip­ment that chan­nel calls and data across the UK but has found it­self at the center of a de­bate, es­pe­cially in the United States, over whether it is risky for gov­ern­ments to give for­eign sup­pli­ers ac­cess to their net­works.

Huawei, which de­nies any wrong­do­ing and main­tains its work is se­cure, opened a tech­nol­ogy center in Ox­ford­shire, in south­ern Eng­land, in 2010 to test the se­cu­rity of its soft­ware and hard­ware, and to en­sure that the UK net­work would not be ex­posed to out­side hack­ing or spy­ing.

Nick Baird, CEO of UK Trade & In­vest­ment, said that the fact that Huawei had not ex­pe­ri­enced any ob­struc­tion on the part of the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment demon­strates the coun­try’s open­ness to for­eign in­vest­ment.

“Huawei is a very wel­come in­vestor in the UK. We are con­fi­dent about the in­vest­ments we have with Huawei, and we are look­ing for­ward to them grow­ing their in­vest­ments even fur­ther,” said Baird. Con­tact the writ­ers at shen­jingt­ing@chi­nadaily.com. cn and zhangchun­yan@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

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