Huawei sets up in Helsinki

Chinese infrastructure and device vendor Huawei has announced plans to establish a research and development facility in Helsinki, investing €70m and hiring 100 people over the next five years. The new R&D facility will be a “key driver” in Huawei’s device development work, the firm said.

In September the vendor pledged to invest £1.3bn in the UK, half of which will be spent on the establishment of “centres of technical and financial excellence” and the other half on service and product procurement.

This latest announcement, while far smaller in scale, could be seen as a more pointed statement of intent, given that it sees the firm establishing an outpost in Nokia’s heartland.

“We believe the key to building our brand is to provide consumers with a reliable and differentiated user experience,” said Kenneth Fredriksen, Vice-President, Huawei Central, Eastern and Nordic Europe. “The open and innovative environment in Finland is an ideal place for Huawei to strengthen our global R&D capabilities for devices, creating opportunities for both Huawei and the Finnish telecommunications industry.”

The news comes just days after Nokia revealed that it has sold its Espoo headquarters just outside Helsinki to a property management firm, and will now lease it back.

Huawei now employees 7,000 people in Europe and the firm applauded the region’s “open economy and foreign investment initiatives,” while committing to further investment in the region. Its European situation is in marked contrast to its standing in the US, where it and other Chinese vendors are still viewed with open suspicion.

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