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Huawei Gets Go Ahead to Establish 5G Equipment Plants in Europe
COVID-19 and China
Mate 30 pro, Huawei's 5G phone. Image credit: Tham Yuan/Pixabay

Liu Kang, Huawei ’s chief representative in the European Union, said that the company is preparing to build a factory in Europe to produce 5G equipment. While the site has not been finalized, there are already several target locations. This indicates that Huawei will integrate more closely into the European market in the future.

Although the member states of the European Union will allow the Chinese manufacturer to move ahead with 5G construction, Huawei will not participate in core 5G construction. The organization said that it could ban operators that pose security risks to key parts of their 5G infrastructure.

The EU’s plan is quite similar to the rules of the UK. The Chinese tech giant can participate in Europe’s 5G construction, but will likely not have the chance to establish a monopoly. Former European Commission Vice President Vivian Redding, who attended the Huawei Spring Festival reception, also stated that “Huawei will build 5G equipment in Europe to significantly increase European confidence in Huawei products.”

It looks like the establishment of a factory in Europe helped persuade EU countries to abandon harsh measures against Huawei. The EU has been struggling to find a middle way to balance Huawei's huge dominance in the 5G field with security concerns imposed by Washington.

In 2019, Huawei's business in Europe was disrupted by non-technical factors, and the uncertain policies of 5G development in European countries affected Huawei's business development in the region. With the advantages of strong 5G communication technology and with the backing of other European countries, they have gradually responded to the non-technical factors. 

Despite Huawei being squeezed out of the US market, from 2018 to the second quarter of 2019, Huawei still led the global telecommunications equipment market share, reaching about 28%. Huawei has made breakthroughs in the EU and UK markets, and many countries around the world have started using Huawei's 5G products. This proves the recognition of Huawei technology in a significant swathe of the ‘West,’ if not the world’s strongest economy.

In April last year, consulting firm Strategy Analytics showed comparative results from leading global 5G suppliers and the 2023 5G global market forecast report. The report compared Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia in terms of their 5G network performance, product portfolios, contributions to standardization, R&D investment, product delivery, etc. The results showed that Huawei's 5G competitiveness is far ahead of that of other vendors.

Huawei invests a lot of manpower and financial resources in the research and development of 5G technology. The annual research and development costs can reach up to tens of billions of dollars. They have access to a large number of the world's top scientific research talents and also have many related patents.

With the British government and the European Union giving Huawei the ‘green light,’ 2020 will be an important year for Huawei's development in Europe.

Editor: Luke Sheehan

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