Huawei given approval for $1.2bn research base in the UK

Daniel Fowler
June 28, 2020

As "wider comments" could not be considered, the local council planning department gave the centre in Sawston, Cambridge, the go ahead. That sparked a rebellion in his party and an angry phone call from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Chinese firm Huawei's plans for a £1bn research centre in the United Kingdom have been approved.

And there's the problem on the worldwide stage.

Before that, Trump administration reportedly discussed several schemes to use the two companies in efforts to "dethrone" Huawei from its current positions.

"Then comes bullying, coercion, and expansion of the surveillance state", U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Blair said that one of the issues was that Huawei infrastructure was a lot cheaper than alternatives.

Planners on the ground in Sawston were quick to dismiss the huge worldwide pressures imposed on them by the jousting of two global superpowers.

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It will focus on optoelectronics - a branch of fiber-optic broadband technology.

South Cambridgeshire council's planning chief, Tumi Hawkins, said of the reported USA anger at the plan: "There has been a lot of wider comment, but when we determine planning application, we can only take into account national and local planning policies". "Trust can not exist where a company such as Huawei is subject to an authoritarian government, like the PRC [People's Republic of China], that lacks an independent judiciary or rule of law that would effectively prohibit the misuse of data", the State Department spokesperson said.

Huawei has been operating in Britain for 20 years and now employs 1,600 people.

Huawei Vice President Victor Zhang said the technology developed at the new centre was separate from that targeted by the USA restrictions, and it was "simply wrong" to suggest its announcement was timed to influence Britain's decision.

"It's the flawless location for this integrated innovation campus".

"Through close collaboration with research institutes, universities, and local industry, we want to advance optical communications technology for the industry as a whole, while doing our part to support the UK's broader Industrial Strategy", said Zhang in a statement.

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