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Huawei confirms UK R&D centre

Jennifer Scott

Huawei has said it will build a research and development (R&D) centre in the UK.

The company’s CEO and founder, Ren Zhengfei, met with chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne at its headquarters in Shenzhen, China, as part of the MP’s tour of China to boost trade with the UK.

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Huawei had already confirmed a £1.3bn investment in the UK in October 2012, which included building a head office in the Green Park area of Reading, which opened earlier this year. But today the company told Osborne £125m of that fund would go directly to R&D.

“The UK is home to some of the best high-tech professionals in the world,” said Zhengfei. “Their creativity is a major asset to our R&D efforts, helping us produce the most advanced and competitive telecoms and broadband services available.”

“Combined with an open and free-trade economy, this makes it a very good investment environment for Huawei. I have every confidence in Huawei's future in the UK.”

Currently Huawei has 80 employees at its Ipswich office working on R&D, but this will rise to 300 by 2017 in the R&D centre. The location of the centre has yet to be disclosed.

Researchers will focus on a number of technologies, including optoelectronics, device design and software development.

"One of the most exciting opportunities for collaboration between Britain and China in the next step of our relationship is between our cutting-edge, high-tech companies,” said Osborne.

“I am delighted to be visiting Huawei's headquarters with leaders of some of Britain’s most entrepreneurial tech companies to welcome Huawei's investment into the UK."


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