Ireland could get Chinese FDI bounce from Brexit, says Huawei chair

27 Aug 20191.03k Views

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Huawei chair Guo Ping. Image: Huawei

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Speaking at the announcement of a further €70m investment in Ireland over the next three years, Huawei’s Guo Ping told Siliconrepublic.com that Brexit could result in greater interest in Ireland from other Chinese companies.

At Huawei’s Shenzhen-based headquarters today (27 August), rotating chair Guo Ping officially announced that the Chinese telecoms giant would make a further investment of €70m in its Irish research and development (R&D) operations over the next three years in Dublin and Cork.

Huawei already has R&D operations in Dublin, Cork and Athlone, and Ping said that the focus of the new R&D activities would be in the areas of video, cloud computing and AI, as well as site reliability engineering (SRE). He said the work will be supported by over 100 highly skilled researchers, experts and engineers that Huawei employs across its Irish offices.

According to Ping, Ireland has outstanding talent and “some of the best researchers in the world”, and he hopes to see the country win the talent competition with other countries, particularly as Brexit draws nearer.

“Our R&D efforts are diverse in Ireland, like software in Dublin and hardware in Cork,” he said. “Ireland has a great opportunity to continue to grow as an economy and become a technological hub.”

Jijay Shen, CEO of Huawei Ireland, who was also in Shenzhen for the announcement, added: “Our focus is on long-term investment and building positive relationships with key partners in Ireland. This investment over three years will help us drive innovation and collaboration in Ireland.”

With a presence in Ireland since 2004, Huawei’s Dublin R&D office is part of the company’s European Research Institute and forms part of Huawei’s international research ecosystem. The company works closely with Irish third-level institutions, including Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, University of Limerick and University College Cork, and also partners with key Science Foundation Ireland centres such as Connect, Insight, Adapt and Lero.

In 2018, Huawei received a Technology Ireland award for its work with Adapt, which focused on a system that enables automatic in-scene detection and placement of advertisements in videos.

Huawei boasted revenues exceeding $100bn in 2018. Last month, it announced a 23.2pc increase in 2019 H1 revenue compared to the same period last year. The company was founded in 1987 and now employs more than 180,000 staff across 170 countries, with 45pc of its employees working in the area of R&D.

Siliconrepublic.com will publish a full interview with Ping in the coming days.

Ann O’Dea is the CEO and co-founder of Silicon Republic and the founder of Inspirefest

editorial@siliconrepublic.com