Huawei plans to invest US$3.1bil in Italy


MILAN: Chinese tech giant Huawei said it plans to invest US$3.1 billion (K10.2bil) in Italy over three years, as the firm looks to strengthen its foothold in Europe after the US labelled it a major security risk.
Huawei – a leader in next-generation 5G wireless technology – is subject to US sanctions over concerns about its ties to the government in Beijing and Washington has urged allies to shun the firm.
Announcing the investment plan Huawei’s managing director for Italy Thomas Miao said trade tensions between the US and China were not having an impact on Huawei’s business in Italy for now.
“The (Italian) government has an open and transparent policy that will not be affected by the problems between the United States and China,” he told a press conference.
“Over the next three years, we will invest US$1.9 billion (K6.3bil) in Italy for the acquisition of supplies and US$1.2 billion (K4bil) in operations and marketing, with US$52 million (K172mil) in research and development.”
He said the plan would create 1,000 jobs directly as well as 2,000 subcontracted positions.
Huawei is barred from developing 5G networks in the United States and the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to convince its allies to do the same.
Washington has accused Huawei of working directly with the Chinese government, a claim the company denies.
It has put Huawei on its so-called entity list, which meant American companies needed a license to supply US technology to the Chinese firm.
The announcement in Italy followed reports in the Wall Street Journal that Huawei was planning to make major job cuts at its US operations. – AFP