Report: Huawei to announce $1.9B UK investment

Chinese telecoms giant reportedly set to invest 1.2 billion pounds (US$1.92 billion) in the United Kingdom that will expand its business growth and create 700 jobs there.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei is reportedly set to announce a 1.2 billion pound (US$1.92 billion) investment in the United Kingdom to help speed up business growth there.

Britain's Sky News reported Monday that Huawei intends to create at least 700 jobs over the next five years, as well as directly invest 600 million pounds (US$960 million) to expand its U.K. operations.

Procurement activity related to the direct investment will generate a further 600 million pounds (US$960 million) in investment to boost the British economy, the report added.

Huawei is also expected to outline more details of plans to strengthen ties with Britain, such as university internships and offering British companies access to the Chinese market, Sky News said.

The news agency noted that the company's investment will be among the largest in the U.K. this year so far, and coincides with founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei's visit to Britain.

Huawei's overseas expansion plans have met with obstacles in other countries, with Ren's past link with China's military often cited as a factor. Last March, the Australian government apparently banned the company from tendering for National Broadband Network (NBN) contracts, on grounds that the government needed to protect the integrity of Australia's information infrastructure.

The United States has also probed the company, along with ZTE, another Chinese telecom giant, over espionage concerns and their motivation to expand presence in country.

Huawei has refuted these issues, and earlier this month pledged it will never co-operate with spying or espionage.

Sky News reported that the company has taken steps to soothe concerns about its business activities, from appointing a board of senior British business executives to be advisors, to operating a cybersecurity evaluation center in Oxfordshire which works with the government's signals intelligence agency to ensure the integrity of the equipment it sells in Britain.

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