Huawei to build network equipment factory in France

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FILE PHOTO: The Huawei logo is pictured on the headquarters building in Reading, Britain July 14, 2020. REUTERS / Matthew Childs

PARIS (Reuters) – Chinese Huawei on Thursday said it would invest € 200 million in building a mobile network equipment plant in eastern France, continuing the rollout despite French restrictions on companies using its 5G equipment.

The plant will initially employ 300 people, increasing to 500 in the longer term, and its products will go to Huawei’s European customers.

The Chinese tech company, which had previously launched plans for a French factory, said in March that it would persevere whether or not the French government cracked down on telecommunications companies using its equipment.

The factory is part of efforts to allay global concerns fueled by US accusations, repeatedly denied by Huawei, that Beijing may be using the company’s equipment for espionage.

France has not banned mobile operators from outright use of Huawei equipment, but in July authorities told telecom companies that were considering purchasing the company’s 5G equipment that they would not be able to renew the licenses for the equipment once it expired, which would gradually remove it from mobile networks.

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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