Huawei confirms £1.3bn UK investment despite Brexit
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is pressing ahead with a £1.32 billion investment strategy in the UK despite Brexit.
The ICT powerhouse has invested in two East of England businesses since acquiring them in the last four years – the Centre for Integrated Photonics (CIP) in Ipswich in 2012 and Neul, the Cambridge Internet of Things startup, in 2015 for a reported $26 million.
Neul was subsequently moved across town and opened a new flagship office on Cambridge Science Park last December.
Henk Koopmans was appointed as the new CEO last October following roles with Symbionics, the former East of England Development Agency and tech consultancy Plextek.
The UK government feared the vote to quit the EU could derail Huawei’s investment programme but the company moved fast to dispel those fears.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid was relieved to announce that renewed commitment. He said: “Huawei has confirmed to government that its planned £1.3 billion (HK$13.42 billion) investment in the UK will go ahead and that the referendum result will make no difference to that commitment.”
Huawei confirms that its strategy includes investments in mobile broadband projects as well as new recruits, with 700 planned new hires. The investment had been pledged after a meeting with former PM David Cameron in September 2012, although Huawei had actually launched in Britain in 2001. Since that time it has increased headcount to more than 1,100 across 15 UK locations.
Globally headquartered in Shenzhen, Huawei now has operations in 170 countries and is the world’s third-largest smartphone supplier and No 1 global equipment supplier to telecoms network operators by revenue.
The privately held company projects total revenue this year to reach a record US$75 billion. Most recently the company has opened a new R & D Centre in Bristol and announced a £5m investment into the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre.
Huawei’s stated strategy is “to build a better connected UK.” Its technology and employees in the UK help to connect communities every day.
Since it opened its first office in the UK, Huawei has grown from being a telecoms provider to a fully integrated ICT supplier. It is now a central player in the deployment of the UK’s broadband and telecoms networks and is partnering with all the major UK operators to deliver the fastest speeds and most comprehensive connectivity.
Huawei UK has three business groups (BG): Network BG, Enterprise BG and Consumer BG.
It aims “to become a strategic partner for carriers in their future transformation, a leader in providing enterprise ICT infrastructure, and a top smart device brand preferred and trusted by consumers.”