Huawei to invest $800m in São Paulo

The investment will go towards a new smartphone factory and ICT skills initiatives

Chinese tech giant Huawei will invest $800 million in the Brazilian state of São Paulo as part of a plan to further develop its presence in the country.

The investment, which was announced by São Paulo governor Joao Doria during a trade mission to China earlier this month and later confirmed by the company, will be made over a two-year period between 2020 and 2022. The new cash will go towards initiatives such as ICT educational programs in schools based in the state.

Also part of the Chinese giant's plans for Brazil under the new investment programme is a new smartphone factory. The new facility will be based in a city yet to be defined - the firm already has a distribution center in Sorocaba (60 miles from São Paulo), which employs over 2000 staff.

Huawei relaunched its consumer business in Brazil earlier this year, with the decision to set up a local manufacturing operation guided by a strategic review.

The Chinese company had folded its consumer division in the country in 2015 and made a comeback in May, with a flash sale of its two high-end devices, the P30 Pro and P30 lite.

As opposed to how the firm used to operate five years ago - it supplied mobile carriers, where only a tenth of new devices are sold -  Huawei has now partnered with major Brazilian retailers and also launched a number of direct sales kiosks in shopping malls nationwide.

The company is following the developments around telecom in Brazil closely, as the country plans on auctioning the 5G spectrum in the first half of 2020.

In June, Brazilian vice-president Hamilton Mourao said the country would not ban Huawei from operating a 5G network in Brazil despite requests to do so from US president, Donald Trump.

The Chinese firm hopes to challenge for the pole position in global smartphone sales by end of this year, but it is confident to become the world's top smartphone brand by 2020 , surpassing Apple and Samsung.