Huawei p20 pro cell phone in a hand at a local mobile store

Huawei ‘boosted UK economy by £1.7bn’ despite security concerns, report claims

Image credit: Dennizn | Dreamstime.com

A report has claimed that Huawei boosted the UK’s annual GDP by £1.7bn in 2018, as the debate surrounding the Chinese telecoms company’s security and 5G issues continue.

Commissioned at the end of 2018, a study conducted by Oxford Economics claims that the Chinese firm now supports more than 26,000 jobs in the UK.

The report found that Huawei’s contribution to the UK economy came from a mixture of direct activities by the firm, value added through its supply chain and spending by its employees and suppliers.

It also said the company had invested £112m in research and development (R&D) in the UK, employing more than 300 people, and that the firm provided a tax revenue of £470m in 2018.

Sir Andrew Cahn, non-executive director of Huawei UK, said the firm remained “fully committed” to the UK.

“The UK has an outstanding reputation for nurturing business growth and pioneering innovation and we are extremely proud of our relationships with our partners in the UK,” he said.

“Huawei has enjoyed great success helping to build the UK’s telecoms networks and we remain fully committed to the UK. This is one of our most important markets globally and we fully intend to help it remain a leader in new technologies.”

However, Huawei has been obliged to weather a considerable amount of international criticism in recent months, with its involvement in the development and infrastructure for new 5G networks coming under scrutiny over concerns that its equipment could be exploited for espionage by the Chinese government. The US has warned its allies to distance themselves from the firm.

Huawei’s UK chief executive, Jerry Wang, said the company still hopes to be a part of 5G networks in the future, despite the concerns.

“Today’s findings prove Huawei’s value and contribution to the UK economy,” he said. “As part of its Industrial Strategy, the UK Government has said it wants ‘a Britain that lives on the digital frontier, with full-fibre broadband, new 5G networks and smart technologies’.

“We are proud of the role we have played in helping to develop the UK’s digital infrastructure and we remain committed to being a strong and innovative partner to our customers.”

At the start of May 2019, culture secretary Jeremy Wright said the Government is still making a decision on whether or not to allow Huawei to be involved with parts of the UK’s 5G network.

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