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Huawei looking to step up UK investment

The telco firm has indicated partners here could benefit from more investment if the ongoing problems in the US continue

Huawei's channel partners could see the investment in the UK from the comms firm increase if it continues to find life trading in the US difficult.

The telco specialist has been having problems dealing with the US government with doors on the other side of the Atlantic being closed because of suspicions that it could compromise the telecom network infrastructure given the current tensions with China.

The consequence of that is that in the UK the firm's channel partners could benefit from more effort being put into efforts here, where the government reaction has not been as extreme.

Speaking to the BBC, Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei made its investment plans clear: “We will continue to invest in the UK. We still trust in the UK. If the US doesn’t trust us, then we will shift our investment from the US to the UK on an even bigger scale.”

The firm employs 1,500 directly but estimates that a further 7,500 people work in its supply chain and it has outlined plans to spend £3bn with British suppliers over the next five years.

The latest statement follows on from a concerted effort by the vendor to be transparent over its plans. Last month the firm's chairman Eric Xu held a roundtable where he discussed the current situation.

When asked about his feelings around the US campaign against the firm Xu mused on the real motivation for the current impasse.

"Huawei does not have a long history, but we are a 30 year old company. Serving more than 3bn people across 170 countries and regions," he said.

"What kind of a company we truly are? I think our customers, the partners we work with, and the 3bn plus people that we serve would have a very good understanding. So we have been wondering, and I think many other people may have been asking this question, is the recent fixation on Huawei truly about cyber security, or could there be other motivations?" he asked.

"Are they truly considering the cyber security and the privacy protection of the people in othernations, or are there possibly other motives? Some other people argue that they try to findleverage for the US-China trade negotiations," he wondered.

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