Huawei to build telecoms equipment factory in France, chairman announces
Huawei is to build a wireless communications factory in France, the Chinese company’s chairman has announced.
Liang Hua said in Paris that the factory will specialise in 4G and 5G equipment and will supply European customers.
“France has mature industrial infrastructure and a highly educated labour pool, and its geographic positioning is ideal for Huawei,” said Huawei, adding that its rationale was “in Europe, for Europe”. The company did not say where the factory would be built.
Liang (pictured) said that Huawei will spend €200 million on the factory, including land, construction and equipment. The company expects to employ 500 people and will create €1 billion worth of products a year. It will supply the entire European market, Liang told a press conference in Paris.
Huawei said the plant will also have a demonstration centre, “showcasing the wireless base station production, software loading, and testing process”, and the company said it “will be open to carriers, governments, and related authorities, demonstrating Huawei’s positive stance on Europe’s call for digital sovereignty”.
Huawei is in the middle of a battle with US authorities, which are insisting its equipment and software pose security threats and are trying to persuade operators in other Western countries not to use its kit.
The US last year put Huawei on its entity list, which forbids US companies from trading with it. According to a report in Germany’s Finanzen.net, the biggest company affected by the US embargo, Google, is likely to ask the Department of Commerce (DoC) for a licence to do business with Huawei.
This report comes just days after it emerged that Huawei has loaded its own alternative operating system and its own alternative to the Play Store into devices, as the ban means Google cannot supply Android, its native apps such as Gmail and YouTube, or access to the Play Store to the most recent handsets.
Finanzen.net said that Sameer Samat, VP of Android and Google Play, refused to say when the company might approach the DoC formally for a licence.