Huawei to open first network equipment factory outside China

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(Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Huawei said on Thursday it would open a manufacturing facility for mobile phone network equipment in France, the first of its kind outside of China.

At least €200 million will be invested to get the facility in the eastern town of Brumath up and running, creating 300 jobs initially.

Located near the border with Germany, the site aims to produce €1 billion of equipment per year for the European market.

"With this factory built at the crossroads of Europe, Huawei will enrich its already rich presence on the continent with 23 research and development centres, more than 100 partner universities, more than 3 100 suppliers and an effective supply chain," the company said in a statement.

The announcement comes as the Chinese telecoms giant is under pressure both from accusations by the US that its mobile network equipment is a spying risk as well as charges it has assisted efforts by Beijing to monitor Uighur Muslims.

Huawei has rejected accusations by Washington that Beijing could access its equipment to snoop on voice and data traffic, but an increasing number of countries including France have restricted if not outright banned Huawei equipment from their 5G mobile networks.

It also denied claims earlier this month that it had been involved in testing facial recognition software in China that could send alerts to police when it recognised Uighur minorities' faces.

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