Nokia Has an Unwelcome New Neighbor as China’s Huawei Invests $90M in Helsinki R&D Center


Chinese telecoms firm and phone-maker Huawei has just announced its intention to open a research and development (R&D) center in Helsinki, Finland. It’s a move dripping with symbolism, as it’s effectively pushing onto Nokia’s (HEL:NOK1V; NYSE:NOK) home turf at a time when Nokia itself is scaling back the size of its Espoo headquarters.

Huawei will “invest €70 million [US$90 million] over a five-year period” for this new R&D base; ultimately, explains the company in its announcement:

The Finnish R&D center will be a key driver in Huawei’s research and development of new technologies for mobile devices. Initial projects will focus on software development for smartphones, tablets and rich-media devices, optimizing the user experience of existing operating systems such as Android and Windows Phone 8. From the outset, Huawei plans to recruit 30 employees for the center, with the goal of hiring more than 100 employees over five years.

Huawei also has similar facilities in Sweden and the UK.