Huawei expands in London

Updated: 2013-08-06 00:10

By SHEN JINGTING (China Daily)

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Planned center to handle firm's global financial matters

Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said on Monday that it plans to open a London-based center later this year to deal with financial matters, despite a recent probe it faced in the United Kingdom.

The company will establish a financial team in London to handle international finance, including treasury and risk management issues, according to a Financial Times report on Monday.

Huawei expands in London

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd plans to set up a financial center in London as part of its 1.3 billion pound ($1.98 billion) investment in the UK market.Provided to China Daily

The office will likely support Huawei's relationship with the global banks and financial institutions that fund many of its largest customers, the paper said.

The center will also deal with the company's financial matters, for example, by monitoring the company's financial situation, the report added.

Huawei confirmed to China Daily that it plans to set up the center in London, saying that it's part of its 1.3 billion pound ($1.98 billion) investment in the UK market.

"A number of roles have already been recruited and we plan to open the center later this year," Huawei said in a text message.

Zhao Hailin, an analyst at research firm IHS iSuppli, said that it's necessary for Huawei to set up a global team to handle financial matters, as about 70 percent of its revenue comes from overseas markets and may be in different currencies.

Huawei's rival ZTE Corp, which posted a 68 percent net profit drop in the first half of 2012, attributed part of the losses to currency turmoil.

"Currency volatility imposed a devastating blow on ZTE and ate away our profits," Liu Peng, ZTE's vice-president, said in an interview last year.

Huawei seemed to have done a better job handling financial issues than ZTE and it secured a stable profit increase last year.

Li Yue, an employee with a State-owned company in Beijing, said that his company even sent a team to learn from Huawei's experience in managing its global financial matters.

Huawei has been actively expanding to the European market recently, especially to the UK, since major countries such as the United States and Australia reject the Chinese telecom equipment maker's entry into their markets, citing national security concerns.

Huawei opened its new UK headquarters on June 11, and it plans to nearly double the number of its UK employees to 1,500 by 2017.

In September 2012, it said it will invest 650 million pounds and spend a further 650 million pounds on procurement in the UK over the next five years.

Earlier, it even hired John Suffolk, the former chief information officer for the UK government, as a cyber security official in 2011, in a bid to reassure customers who were concerned that it has links to the Chinese government.

However, Huawei's efforts to provide local job opportunities, as well as offering generous investment packages, still failed to gain it full acceptance in the UK.

In July, the UK government said it would conduct a probe into Huawei's Cyber Security Evaluation Center.

The center's major task is to monitor Huawei's participation in the UK's telecommunications infrastructure, but it is run and funded by Huawei itself, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The decision to investigate the center came after the UK parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee said in June that the country might have left itself vulnerable to potential cyber attacks by allowing Huawei to play major roles in the telecom sector.