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Conor McCrave

Tech giant Huawei announces €70m for research plans in Ireland

Huawei currently employs around 220 people directly in Ireland, having first landed in 2004.

CHINESE TECH GIANT Huawei has announced the expansion of its Irish operation with a €70 million investment in research and development (R&D) over the next three years. 

The company revealed plans to grow its R&D division in Ireland by funding research in areas of video, artificial intelligence, and engineering, at its locations in Cork, Dublin and Athlone. 

Huawei currently employs around 220 people directly in Ireland, having first landed in 2004, and has been supporting research partnerships or a number of years through programmes at Trinity College Dublin, DCU and Science Foundation Ireland.

Speaking to reporters, including at its Schenzhen headquarters in China today, rotating chairman and senior executive Guo Ping said Ireland is an ideal location for the broader expansion of its operations across Europe.

“In 2008 when many European countries were combating the economic crisis, I think Ireland did very well. it was the first country to [recover], so that shows the Irish economy has great resilience.

“If Ireland continues to maintain its smooth exchanges with other countries like the US, China, the UK and Japan, in terms of technologies… it will help Ireland maintain a strong position among European Union countries and become a technological hub.” 

Ping also said the effect of Brexit on Ireland will have a positive impact for the tech industry as multinationals try to maintain access to markets and industries across Europe.   

“As the UK is leaving the European Union, I think there is a great opportunity for Ireland to become a window for other companies to enter the European Union market.

He added, “Ireland is a very open country and it has a very sound environment for investments, and it has a lot of outstanding talent… In the next three years we plan to invest €70 million in Ireland through these R&D centres.”

The announcement comes amid ongoing tensions with the US over allegations that the company is involved with the Chinese government and its products pose a threat to cyber-security.

It has led the US to restrict Huawei’s access to US markets, along with US officials urging other countries to place a ban on Huawei from rolling out its latest 5G infrastructure, claiming it would leave them vulnerable.

Hauwei has repeatedly denied these allegations with both Ping and the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei arguing the US has not produced any evidence to back it up.

Some 88,000 people work in R&D for Huawei, with 100 of those based in Ireland, while the rest are divided across its other centres in China and locations in other countries including India and Canada.  

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