The nine-acre facility in Cambridge will become the international headquarters of Huawei’s fiber optic communication business and create around 400 jobs, Huawei said in a press release.
Johnson had announced a 35% cap on Huawei’s involvement in Britain’s 5G network, but he’s under pressure from some lawmakers within his own party and the Trump administration to ban Huawei altogether, arguing that the Chinese government could use Huawei for its own efforts, including spying.
Under Chinese law, Chinese companies can be ordered to act under the direction of Beijing. Huawei has consistently denied that it would help the Chinese government to spy, and says it is “100% owned by employees.”
The new campus and hundreds of new jobs also comes as the UK economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with millions claiming unemployment benefits. In a statement, Huawei Vice President Victor Zhang touted what the new campus would do for the UK economy, saying it wants “to help enshrine the UK’s leading position in optoelectronics and promote UK tech on a global scale.”
On Thursday, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair warned that the United Kingdom needs to make a pro-US call on Huawei.