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Huawei kicks off £1.3bn UK investment with new HQ

Chinese IT firm faces invstigation in UK after damning US security report

Chain-based networking giant Huawei has kicked off its £1.3 billion investment in the UK by signing a deal with Oxford Properties to move its UK headquarters to Green Park in Reading.

The announcement comes as the UK plans to investigate the Chinese company after the US released a report this week claiming that it posed a threat to its national-security.

Prime Minister David Cameron revealed Huawei's plans for investment in September, where he said the company would invest £650 million in research, development and centres of excellence, and spend a further £650 million in local procurement over the next five years.

"This move marks the beginning of an exciting new period of development for Huawei in the UK. We opened our first office in here in 2001 and the decision to move to a new headquarters reinforces our long term commitment to the UK," said Victor Zhang, CEO, Huawei Technologies UK.

"Green Park is at the heart of the Britain's communications and technology industry, is well located for some of our major customers, has excellent transport links and is the right location for us as we continue our UK expansion."

He added: "The new HQ offers the space to accommodate up to 1,000 people as our business here continues to grow in the coming years."

Huawei also plans to increase the company's workforce from the 800 it currently employs in the UK, to 1,500 over the same period.

Currently based in Basingstoke, Huawei will take up residence at the 140,000 sq ft building in Reading as of April 2013.

Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, also welcomed the news.

He said: "I am very pleased that Huawei has chosen to base its headquarters in my constituency in Reading and I look forward to welcoming them to the area.

"Huawei is providing important investment to the UK and creating hundreds of new jobs for Reading and Green Park, demonstrating once again that Reading is an economic powerhouse in the south-east."

A US House Intelligence Committee report claimed that spying and potential data theft could be done on behalf of the Chinese government through infrastructure based on the Chinese companies' equipment.

At the time of Huawei's investment announcement, prime minister David Cameron said: "The British Government values the important relationship with China, both countries have much to offer each other and the business environment we are creating in the UK allows us to maximise this potential."

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