Huawei’s proposed R&D center in Cambridge, England.
A new Huawei research and development center has been approved by a local council in the U.K., despite the nation’s ongoing security concerns around the Chinese company.
South Cambridgeshire District Council approved the first phase of construction of Huawei’s planned R&D center, which the company intends to use to build state-of-the-art chips. Huawei said it will invest £1 billion in the first phase of the development.
It hopes to employ 300 to 400 people at the 500-acre site, which is located in Sawston, seven miles from Cambridge city center.
Once fully operational, it will become the international headquarters of Huawei’s optoelectronics business. Optoelectronics is a technology used in the fiber optic communication systems found in data centers and network infrastructure.
The R&D center was approved despite concerns being raised about cycle lanes, water consumption, damage to the environment, and employees not being located near the site. Nine councilors voted for the development, and one voted against.
“The U.K. is home to a vibrant and open market, as well as some of the best talent the world has to offer,” said Victor Zhang, the vice president of Huawei, in a press release.
“It’s the perfect 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 U.K.’s broader Industrial Strategy. Ultimately, we want to help enshrine the U.K.’s leading position in optoelectronics and promote U.K. tech on a global scale.”
Huawei’s U.K. workforce has grown to 1,600 people since it started operating in the country some 20 years ago.