Strasbourg: The Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, which is under pressure from Western governments which it suspects poses a security risk, plans to open its first mobile network plant outside China in 2023 in eastern France, a manager said.
Huawei’s vice president and member of the Supervisory Board, Catherine Chen, said in a videoconference that work on the plant, which will manufacture base stations, should start this year.
She said that the site “could produce the first mobile terminal at some point in 2023,” adding that the official decision to locate a factory outside China represents “a historical history for Huawei.”
Last month, the company said it would invest at least 200 million euros and create 300 jobs to start at its European “Huawei Wireless Factory” in Promath, near Strasbourg.
Located near the border with Germany, the site aims to produce 1 billion euros in mainly 5G equipment annually for the European market.
The Chinese group is under pressure from accusations by the United States that cell phone network equipment has an espionage risk, and it accuses it of aiding Beijing’s efforts to monitor Uighur Muslims.
Huawei has rejected accusations that Beijing can access its devices to spy on voice and data traffic, but an increasing number of countries including France have imposed restrictions if not completely banned Huawei equipment from 5G mobile networks.