Huawei to invest $90 million to set up R&D center over 5 years for smartphone and tablet software in Finland

Telecom Lead Europe: Huawei is planning to invest $90 million to set up research and development (R&D) center over five years for smartphone and tablet software in Finland, home to rival Nokia.

The R&D center will be a key driver in Huawei’s research and development of new technologies for mobile devices.

The centre will start with 30 employees and grow to 100 within five years.

The Finnish R&D center will focus on software development for smartphones, tablets and rich-media devices using Andriod and Windows Phone operating systems.

“The open and innovative environment in Finland is an ideal place for Huawei to strengthen our global R&D capabilities for devices, creating opportunities for both Huawei and the Finnish telecommunications industry,” said Kenneth Fredriksen, vice president, Huawei Central, Eastern and Nordic Europe.

Huawei has ambitions to expand globally, though concerns about its possible ties to the Chinese state have raised concerns in several Western countries.

In September, the Chinese gear maker said it would invest $2 billion in Britain and roughly double its workforce in the country within five years.

The company currently has 7,000 employees in Europe and 70,000 involved in R&D worldwide, AP reported.

The expansion plans for Europe come two months since US lawmakers alleged that Huawei’s equipment could be used for Chinese espionage. The company has also been barred in Australia from tendering in its $38 billion national high-speed broadband network project due to unspecified security concerns.

Huawei plans to employ over 14,000 employees in Europe within three to five years, doubling the current workforce of around 7,000.

The company has said it wants to launch new smartphones including Windows Phone 8 devices.
Mobile devices accounted last year for 22 percent of Huawei’s business, which mostly focuses on routers and other telecoms equipment.

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