Huawei and ZTE pledge huge Brazil investments
Huawei Technologies and ZTE, the mainland's two biggest telecommunications equipment manufacturers, plan to ratchet up their investments in Brazil this year.
The heads of the two Shenzhen-based companies made their commitments separately to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in conjunction with multiple, bilateral trade deals signed in Beijing this week between the mainland and the largest country in South America.
According to state media, Sino-Brazilian trade has risen 20-fold over the past decade to US$56.4 billion last year. In 2009, the mainland replaced the United States as Brazil's largest trading partner and biggest source of foreign direct investment.
Ren Zhengfei, the chief executive of privately held Huawei, said on Monday that the company would increase spending to expand its Centre of Innovation, Production and Training in the city of Campinas, located in the state of Sao Paulo, and boost the amount of donations to the country's top universities.
Reports yesterday said about US$300 million would be invested by Huawei to build a new research and development facility. Another US$50 million worth of equipment would be given to the University of Brasilia and the University of Sao Paulo to aid the two institutions in establishing cloud-computing centres.
Huawei spokesman Ross Gan could not confirm those reported numbers yesterday, but pointed out that the company had already invested up to US$363 million in Brazil since setting up its first South American operation in the country in 1999. Gan said Huawei posted revenue of US$1.4 billion last year in Brazil, where the company has more than 4,000 employees.
Hong Kong-listed ZTE announced yesterday that it intended to invest an undisclosed amount for the construction of a new industrial park in Hortolandia, a town in Sao Paulo.
'This unit will be responsible for servicing the whole of South America and it will consolidate Brazil as the operational centre of the region [for ZTE],' said Yuan Lie, the president of ZTE do Brazil, a subsidiary of the mainland manufacturer.
Yuan said the industrial park, which includes a research and development centre, production plant, training facility and logistics centre, would be ZTE's first such complex in South America. ZTE bought land in Brazil for this development.
ZTE, the mainland's No 2 telecommunications gear maker behind Huawei, started operations in Brazil in 2001.
Huawei and ZTE are both key equipment suppliers for 3G service provider Vivo, Brazil's largest wireless network operator and a unit of Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica.
Sao Paulo-based Vivo is conducting separate trials with the two mainland firms for a proposed higher-speed 3G network, based on the Evolved High-Speed Packet Access standard that can offer data transmission rates of as much as 21 megabits per second.
Annual Sino-Brazilian trade has risen 20-fold over the past decade to be worth, in US dollars: $56b