If the name Huawei sounds familiar to you then it probably is. The Chinese company is well-known for supplying network providers with Android smartphones such as their Ascend line. Their products are not limited to smartphones though as the company has a diverse range of products and services aimed at consumer, enterprises and operators. In fact they are the world’s second largest provider of mobile networks just right behind Sweden’s Ericsson.
Today the Shenzhen based company announced that they will be opening a new smartphone research and development center in Helsinki, Finland. They plan to invest a total of €70 million or US$93 million in a span of 5 years for this project. This will become the company’s eleventh R&D center in Europe and the second one that’s going to focus on consumer electronics rather than network infrastructure.
Huawei has already hired 20 people for their Helsinki operations and plan to hire more than 100 people over the next 5 years. In the whole of Europe they are already employing 7,000 people with plans to bring this number up to 14,000.
Why choose Finland? Kenneth Fredriksen who is the head of Huawei operations in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia said “Finland has a strong telecom industry ecosystem.” This is also the stronghold of Nokia and since they are currently downsizing their staff finding the right engineers to hire won’t be difficult.
The company wants to aggressively expand their smartphone products and aims to compete with HTC and Samsung. This year alone they have released various high-end Android smartphones comparable to the flagship models of other brands. They have sold 11.9 million units accounting for a 3% market share for this year alone.
The R&D facility in Helsinki will develop Android as well as Windows smartphones. The company plans to release its first device running on the Windows Phone platform in a few months.