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Huawei plans UK enterprise push with R&D centre launch (V3)

Oct 30, 2013


Huawei's £125m UK research and development (R&D) centre will be a key part of its enterprise push, the firm told V3 on a visit to Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen, China.

The new centre, announced last week following UK chancellor George Osborne's visit to China, will focus on research into fundamental technologies including photonics, optoelectronics, internet protocol technology, device design and software development.

Patrick Zhang, president of marketing and solutions for Huawei's Enterprise Business Group, said: "We officially established the Enterprise BG in 2011 and we chose a select and limited number of countries [to work with] and the UK is one of them, because it has a very big potential enterprise market.

"Before we entered the UK enterprise market, we already had a lot of co-operation with UK carriers, such as BT, Vodafone and EE. We entered the enterprise business market through the partnership we had with our carriers."

Zhang added that Huawei's work with UK firms such as BT, notably with its Global Services arm, would help it spread its products around the world.

Huawei's Enterprise group is a fast-growing area of the company. In 2011, the firm's enterprise revenue was $1.46bn, while it expects this to be $2.7bn for 2013.

As part of the firm's wider enterprise strategy, Zhang said Huawei Enterprise Business Group vision was to be a "better partner of enterprise ICT innovation" and that it planned to focus its efforts on ICT infrastructure and becoming more integrated with businesses.

The UK R&D centre, the exact location of which is yet to be announced, is part of Huawei's $1.7bn investment agreement with the UK. Currently, the firm invests 10 percent of its total sales each year into R&D.

When the new UK R&D centre was announced last week, Osborne said: "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. So 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."

The new centre will create 220 jobs, in addition to the 80 people already employed at Huawei's R&D centre in Ipswich.