Huawei Technologies has pledged a further £3bn investment in the UK market after its chief met the British prime minister in China last week.
The five year commitment came after the meeting between Huawei chairwoman Sun Yafang and Theresa May in Beijing. Huawei said it would procure a total of £3bn in the UK, “helping UK companies to increase exports to China”, it said.
The new commitment builds on the pledge made by Huawei in 2012 to invest and procure £1.3bn in the UK over five years from 2013-17. Huawei said this target was actually “significantly exceeded”, and that it had invested and procured £2bn in that period.
The company now employs more than 1,500 people in the UK across 15 offices, including its head office in Green Park, Reading.
May said: “Trade between the UK and China is already at record levels. The visit was an opportunity to further showcase the best of British and boost jobs and prosperity throughout the UK.”
International trade secretary Liam Fox said: “Huawei’s £3bn announcement is yet another significant vote of confidence in our world-leading tech industry and I’m delighted to welcome their increased commitment to the UK. With 90% of global growth forecast to come from outside the EU, my international economic department is working to ensure Britain continues to benefit from the vast opportunities available as we leave the EU.”
Yafang added: “Huawei values long-term partnership. The UK was one of the first international markets we entered when we opened our first office there in 2001. Over the coming years we look forward to continuing to collaborate with our customers and partners to help keep the UK at the very forefront of the digital age.”
Huawei has two joint innovation centres in the UK, one in Ipswich with BT, and one in Newbury with Vodafone. Huawei also has three R&D sites in the UK, with the Centre for Integrated Photonics in Ipswich, one in Cambridge, and a centre in Bristol.