Huawei commits to investing £3bn in the UK over the next five years

Huawei UKChinese smartphone and telecoms giant Huawei has pledged to spend £3bn in the UK over the next five years under a procurement commitment aimed at helping UK companies increase exports to China.

The long-term commitment was made by the company following a meeting between Huawei chairwoman Sun Yafang and the UK Prime Minister Theresa May on 1 February in Beijing, China. It builds on a previous pledge by Huawei in 2012, where the company said it would invest and procure £1.3bn in the UK between 2013 and 2017. According to the company, it exceeded this and ended up investing £2bn during the period.

“Huawei’s £3bn announcement is yet another significant vote of confidence in our world-leading tech industry and I’m delighted to welcome their increased commitment to the UK,” said Liam Fox, the UK’s international trade secretary. “With 90 per cent of global growth forecast to come from outside the EU, my international economic department is working to ensure Britain continues to benefit from the vast opportunities available as we leave the EU.”

Huawei employs over 1,500 people in 15 offices in the UK, and has worked with both BT and Vodafone for more than 12 years – having a joint innovation centre with BT in Ipswich and one with Vodafone in Newbury. Huawei intends to use these partnerships to continue to explore technologies, like 5G, at these centres.

Meanwhile, Huawei has three research & development sites across the UK, and has worked with more than 20 universities on over 100 research projects over the last five years. Part of the £3bn pledge will see it continue its investment in R&D and collaborate with UK universities on more research.

“Huawei values long-term partnership,” said Yafang. “The UK was one of the first international markets we entered, when we opened our first office there in 2001. We have now been working with our major customers in the UK for more than twelve years, helping to build a better-connected UK. Over the coming years we look forward to continuing to collaborate with our customers and partners to help keep the UK at the very forefront of the digital age.”