Huawei spent $3.4B in Europe in 2013, plans more

Huawei has revealed it procured billions of dollars-worth of components, engineering, and logistics services in Europe in 2013, as it continues to find new business in the region at a time when other markets are closing their doors.

The Chinese equipment vendor said it spent $3.4 billion (€2.4 billion) with European suppliers in 2013, and predicted the amount will continue to increase as the firm expands its European presence. Ken Hu, Huawei's deputy chairman and rotating CEO, told delegates at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that Europe is a key market for the company, and one in which Huawei has already invested heavily.

"Europe benefits from a deep-rooted history of culture, management, and technology expertise as well as a great tradition for innovation. Huawei regards Europe as a key competency center," Hu said.

Huawei said it employs 7,700 people in Europe at R&D facilities and centres of expertise covering topics including finance, marketing, and services.

"By localising our operations and collaborating extensively with European partners, we have improved our overall capabilities. At the same time, our global value chain enabled the capability transfer from Europe to other parts of the world, which generated even greater value from these capabilities," Hu said.

Concerns over the security of Huawei's network infrastructure have led to the company being shut out of markets including the US and Australia. Recently, UK government departments also raised concerns about Huawei's kit, ripping out video conferencing gear supplied by the company amid fears it was being used by China's government to eavesdrop on important meetings.

Huawei has consistently denied any links to China's government, and Hu said the freedom of the European market is one of the main drivers behind the company's commitment to the region.

"We believe that open and free trade policies, the foundation of Europe's prosperity for the past centuries, will continue to pave the way for improving ICT industry's competitiveness and fuelling the growth of digital economy. With full confidence in the future of Europe, we will continue to invest in this region, cooperate with European industry players to promote innovations, and play a more active role in reshaping the society," Hu told the conference.

For more:
- see this Huawei release

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