This year, we celebrate 15 years of Huawei in most European countries – and what an exciting, challenging and rewarding 15 years it has been. Europe is incredibly important to us, not only as a highly competitive marketplace, but also as a hot-bed of innovation and change.
In 2001, Huawei established its first offices in Europe in Basingstoke in the United Kingdom and in Eschborn near Frankfurt in Germany. These offices added to our R&D presence established a few months earlier in Sweden. We chose both locations due to the ready access to a skilled workforce and proximity to our early customers.
Following a decade and a half of successful growth throughout the continent, Huawei now operates in 33 European countries, where it has over 10 000 staff, 18 R&D centres and numerous joint innovation centres set up with partners.
From strength to strength
Being successful in Europe is critical to Huawei. In 2001, we were virtually unknown outside of China. We knew that we would have to prove ourselves time and time again to create a foothold, let alone a prosperous business, in this vibrant marketplace.
The fact that we have achieved this is proof of the commitment, dedication and skill of our colleagues, partners and customers.
A solid partnership
But Europe always meant more to us than solely achieving market success. It is impossible to list all the aspects in which Europe has inspired and continues to inspire Huawei, but we have no doubt that Huawei today would be a very different company without the European influence and expertise.
From the outset, we worked closely and built strong relationships with partners who could open doors for us, provide support and services around our core technologies, and, importantly, help us to understand the European context and market. We still follow this pattern today and our ecosystem of partners remains an essential element in our success.
Together towards digital transformation
As we move towards a fully digitised society, we need to team up to develop an ecosystem that will enable this transformation.
Huawei is putting its considerable global weight behind digital in Europe. Our aim is to build better connections, acting as an innovative enabler for the information society, a collaborative contributor to the industry, and a responsible corporate citizen.
We work with policy makers, industry and research partners in Europe and beyond to bring hyper-connectivity to cities, homes and businesses.