Osborne visit sees Huawei open new UK R&D centre

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Chancellor’s trade mission to China sees Huawei open second UK R&D centre 

Huawei has revealed its second UK R&D base will open in Bristol later this year with the Chinese manufacturer investing £200 million in the site.

A total of 140 people will be employed in UK research and development by the end of this year by Huawei, as part of its UK Innovation Programme. Huawei announced in September 2012 that it would invest £650 million in the UK over the following five years, in addition to spending £650 million on procurement in the country.

It also has an R&D site in Ipswich and the total number of employees across both sites will increase to 300 by 2017.

The Bristol site will focus on the development of ICT chips, software and analog chip technology while the Ipswich site focuses on optoelectronics – devices that source, detect and control light.

The jobs come off the back of Chancellor George Osborne’s trade mission (pictured) to China last October where he met Huawei chief executive officer Ren Zhengfei.

“The UK is forward-thinking, progressive, and fosters innovation. This creativity is a major asset to our R&D efforts and gives us the perfect platform to continue pioneering the new, ground-breaking technologies that are building the future,” Huawei rotating and acting chief executive officer Guo Ping said in a statement.

The firm, which opened its first UK site in 2001, currently has 900 employees across 15 UK offices and it plans to increase this number by 600 over the next three years.

The Chinese manufacturer plans to take on Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market and it became the world’s third largest smartphone maker in 2013. It sold more than 52 million handsets in the 100-plus markets where its is active.

Internal targets have been set to push handset sales past the 80 million mark this year – closing the gap on Samsung (31.3 per cent) and Apple (15.3 per cent).

The firm launched its latest flagship smartphone the Ascend P7 in Paris last month and is also believed to be in negotiations to sponsor a top five Premier League football team, to raise awareness of the brand.

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