Huawei to build first European factory “next year”

Huawei has an extensive research and sales presence in Europe. This building is in Vilnius, Lithuania (Vadreams/Dreamstime)
Chinese tech company Huawei plans to start work on its first European factory next year, Reuters reports.

The Strasbourg plant will make electronic devices for use in mobile networks.

A company source told Reuters that Hauwei had made an initial investment of €200m in 2020, but the roll-out was delayed by the pandemic.

The source didn’t say when the factory in Brumath would be built, but a second source in the French government said the site was expected to open in 2025.

The move comes despite France’s policy of discouraging telecoms companies from using Huawei equipment, fearing it would let the Chinese government eavesdrop on network traffic.

In 2020, the French government told telecoms operators that they would not be able to renew licences for any Huawei equipment they used.

But after economy minister Bruno Le Maire visited Beijing in July, the government decided to extend Huawei 5G licences in some cities.

Although Huawei does not have a factory in Europe, it does have a considerable presence on the continent.

It opened its first research centre in Stockholm in 2000 and, in 2015, it was fourth in the European Patent Office’s ranking of companies by quantity of applications.

Today, Huawei has offices in 33 European countries employing some 10,000 people.

Most are in customer service roles, but there are also 1,570 people involved in research in 18 centres.

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