Huawei to create 5,500 jobs in Europe, rebels against 'groundless' exile from US

In a bid to expand its reach in Europe, the Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer is due to embark on a hiring spree.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Huawei will create at least 5,500 new jobs in Europe over the next few years as the Chinese firm focuses on tapping into European telecoms markets.


The China Daily reported on Sunday that Huawei will diversify its service portfolio in Europe following disappointing market access and sales in the United States.

Patrick Zhang, president of Huawei's marketing and solutions told the publication:

"Our expansion progress in Europe is different from that in the U.S., where we have encountered access difficulties due to some groundless reasons given by the American side... the fact is that since the start of our global presence, there has not been one security complaint made against us. In contrast, we are always cooperative, and loyally offer security solutions for our partners."

Zhang said that Europe offers more growth potential than the U.S., which in recent times has given the firm the cold shoulder. Huawei and rival firm ZTE have faced scrutiny in the U.S. after allegations were levelled against both companies by the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which claimed the companies represent a security threat to U.S. businesses.

The committee said that U.S. companies should be discouraged from working with Huawei and ZTE.

Scott Sykes, Huawei's vice president of international media affairs, told ZDNet there were no business opportunities available in the foreseeable future for the telecoms equipment firm in the United States. Sykes said:

"Despite the fact we have done our best to communicate about our company, and have been in business for 26 years with telecom operators around the world, the challenges we face in the U.S. are not about Huawei or the security of our equipment."

The world's second largest maker of telecoms communication equipment plans to provide information technology solutions to European enterprises instead, Zhang said.

Turnover for the new venture is expected to reach $1 billion in the next three to five years, he added.

Huawei currently employs over 7,500 staff in Europe -- most of them locals -- and has run 13 research & development sites in eight European countries, including Belgium, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In order to expand its IT solutions, the telecoms equipment manufacturer will increase the number of local staff by 5,500 as Huawei treats Europe "as a second home" away from China, where the bulk of the company's business takes place.

"Apart from research and development input, localization is our key to success." Zhang noted.

However, Huawei's plans may be scuppered by the European Commission's claims that the company is guilty of anti-competitive behaviour. In May, the E.C. said that the firm is "dumping its products on the European market," and Chinese state support and grants creates a "distorted playing field" disadvantageous to European competitors. In addition, competition remains steep in Europe, where Cisco and Juniper currently hold dominant positions.

Huawei is also exploring the possibilities of Singapore and India to boost its enterprise revenue streams.

The enterprise market generated $1.9 billion in revenue for Huawei last year. In an interview, Huawei senior executive William Xu said that the Chinese firm aims to increase revenue to $2.7 billion this year, and the firm is "quite confident" about meeting this target.

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