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Huawei to press on with £1.3b British investment, despite Brexit

Minister confirms referendum result ‘will make no difference’ to Chinese technology giant’s five-year UK commitment

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 June, 2016, 8:17pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 June, 2016, 1:00pm

Huawei Technologies, China’s largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, is expected to push ahead with the rest of its five-year investment commitment in Britain, despite the uncertainties brought by the country’s vote to exit the European Union.

Sajid Javid, the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, announced that development on Tuesday afternoon in London, as among the reassurances received by the government after the “Brexit” referendum.

“Huawei has today confirmed to government that its planned £1.3 billion (HK$13.42 billion) investment in the UK will go ahead,” Javid said in a statement.

“The referendum will make no difference to that commitment.”

The five-year investment programme by Shenzhen-based Huawei in Britain comprised £650 million in direct investment and £650 million in procurement from 2012 to 2017.

Roland Sladek, a spokesman for Huawei, said on Wednesday that the company’s plans included investments in mobile broadband projects and 700 new hires over that period.

“Our founder Ren Zhengfei announced that investment commitment in September 2012 , after meeting with [British prime minister] David Cameron,” Sladek said.

Since opening its first office in Britain in 2001, Huawei has increased the number of its local employees to more than 1,100 in 15 different locations in the country.

According to Huawei, it has been a strategic telecommunications equipment supplier to both BT and Vodafone for more than 10 years.

Huawei, which has operations in about 170 countries, is the world’s third-largest smartphone supplier and No 1 global equipment supplier to telecommunications network operators by revenue.

The privately held company has projected total revenue this year to reach US$75 billion, which would mark a new high. It posted 395 billion yuan (HK$460.90 billion)in revenue last year.