Huawei to invest €70m in R&D in Ireland over next three years

Investment focus will be on video, cloud computing and artificial intelligence

Huawei co-chairman Guo Ping: “Ireland is a very open country and has a very sound environment for investment as well as outstanding talent.”

Huawei co-chairman Guo Ping: “Ireland is a very open country and has a very sound environment for investment as well as outstanding talent.”

 

Huawei is to invest €70 million in research and development in the Republic of Ireland over the next three years.

The announcement was made by Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping during a briefing with Irish journalists in Shenzhen in southern China.

The company, which employs about 180 people in Ireland across facilities in Dublin, Cork and Athlone, said the investment focus would be on video, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and site-reliability engineering.

“Ireland is a very open country and has a very sound environment for investment as well as outstanding talent,” said Mr Ping.

Huawei has significantly upped its spending in recently years on research and development with investment exceeding $101.5 billion yuan ( €12.7 billion) in 2018, equivalent to about 14 per cent of its annual sales. This makes it the fifth biggest R&D spender globally behind Samsung, Alphabet, Volkswagen and Microsoft, according to figures from the European Commission.

More than 100 Irish employees are focused on R&D across its facilities in Cork, Ahtlone and Dublin.

The world’s largest telecoms equipment maker first established operations in the Republic in 2004. In late 2017, the company announced a €17.7 million investment that included a new partnership with Trinity College Dublin. It has also partnered with a number of other third-level institutions locally as well partnering with Science Foundation Ireland-backed centres such as Adapt and Lero.

Huawei Ireland chief executive Jijay Shen told The Irish Times that overall the company had invested €35 million in Ireland over the past three years

Founded in 1987, the company employs more than 180,000 employees across 170 countries and regions. Huawei has been in the spotlight of late after being blacklisted by the US on national security grounds.

Its founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei recently warned staff that it was a “do or die” moment for the Chinese telecoms giant as it warned of an expected $10 billion drop in smartphone sales due to the ban.

While initially focused on manufacturing phone switches, Huawei has significantly expanded its business over the years to include building infrastructure equipment used in mobile and broadband internet networks, including for 5G. It is now also the world’s second-largest smartphone seller behind Samsung.

Huawei has consistently denied allegations that its equipment can be used to spy on other countries and/or companies.