Huawei Technologies is set to commence construction of its mobile phone network equipment factory in France in the coming year, according to an insider familiar with the matter. Despite the initial plan's announcement in 2020, which outlined a 200 million euros (US$215.28 million) investment, the project faced delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, mentioned on Monday that the factory, situated in Brumath near Strasbourg, would move forward with construction. However, no specific timeline for its operational launch was provided. Huawei has yet to respond to requests for comment.
The French government source indicated that the site is anticipated to be operational by 2025. This development unfolds against a backdrop of some European governments imposing restrictions or outright bans on the use of Huawei and China's ZTE equipment in their 5G networks, citing security concerns. Despite these challenges, Huawei remains determined to establish its first plant in Europe.
European leaders are engaged in ongoing discussions on how to manage and mitigate risks associated with Chinese technology companies while also fostering cooperation with the second-largest global economy. China holds a significant trade partnership with France, ranking as the country's third-largest trade partner behind the European Union and the United States.
In 2020, the French government conveyed a directive to telecom operators intending to procure Huawei's 5G equipment, stating that they would not be allowed to renew licenses for the gear once they expire. This move was seen as a phased approach to gradually remove Huawei from mobile networks. However, following a meeting between French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire and China's Vice-Premier He Lifeng in July, it was announced that France had decided to extend Huawei's 5G licenses in certain cities. The ongoing developments underscore the delicate balance European nations are navigating between security concerns and economic cooperation with China.
By fLEXI tEAM