* Plans to double European staff to over 14,000
* To open R&D centre in Finland
* To launch Windows Phone device
HELSINKI, Dec 10 Chinese telecoms equipment
maker Huawei Technologies
plans a hiring spree in Europe, seeking growth outside the
United States where its prospects have been clouded by spying
Huawei said on Monday it planned to double its workforce in
Europe and would set up a research centre to develop new
smartphones in Finland, where former global leader Nokia Oyj
is shedding thousands of workers.
"Europe has proven to be quite an open business environment
for Huawei," company spokesman Roland Sladek said.
The expansion plans for Europe come two months since a U.S.
congressional report alleged Huawei's equipment could be used
for Chinese espionage. The company has also been barred in
Australia from tendering in a $38 billion national high-speed
broadband network project due to unspecified security concerns.
The group aims to employ over 14,000 in Europe within three
to five years, doubling the current workforce of around 7,000,
and also plans to spend 70 million euros ($91 million) over five
years on the new R&D centre in Finland.
It will be Huawei's 11th centre in the region and will have
a planned staff of around 100.
Underscoring its European expansion, Huawei also said it won
a services deal with 3 UK, owned by Hutchison Whampoa,
a contract previously held by rival Ericsson.
With Nokia cutting 3,700 jobs in the country, the Chinese
group may face little difficulty finding recruits for its
While Nokia has been losing market share to both high-end
smartphone makers and cheaper handset rivals, Huawei has been
expanding its mobile phones business with new handsets using
Google Inc's Android software.
Mobile devices last year accounted for 22 percent of
Huawei's business, which mostly focuses on routers and other
Huawei has said it wants to launch new smartphones including
Windows Phone 8 devices, which would add to the competitive
pressure on Nokia.
Huawei declined to give an estimated launch date for a new
Windows Phone 8 device, but said its plans were "short term".