Chinese tech giant Huawei has today opened its new office in Greater Manchester.
Its latest location, in the MediaCityUK complex, is the company’s first in the North West of England and will serve as a base of operations as it looks to develop its business in the Northern Powerhouse, it said.
The office will house several of Huawei’s key business operations including customer account teams, the Huawei Network Design Centre and Huawei’s Delivery Operations Center for the north of the UK.
The firm said it already indirectly supports 2,200 jobs in the North West, and in 2015 began a research and development collaboration with the University of Manchester.
Initially up of 50 roles will be allocated at the new facility, with a view to doubling that headcount by 2022, it said.
Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor said it was vital that the area continue to attract top tech talent to the city.
“The arrival of Huawei who are a key player further cements this city and Salford in particular as the emerging tech hotspot in the UK,” he said.
Jerry Wang, Huawei UK CEO said the company was delighted to announce a location in the ‘birthplace of the industrial revolution’.
“The North West is an important region for Huawei as we look to continue our growth in the UK,” said Wang.
“Greater Manchester’s talented workforce and emerging tech scene make it an exciting city to invest in, the city is now at the forefront of healthcare and university tech-led innovations today.”
Stephen Wild, Managing Director of MediaCityUK added: “Huawei’s decision to base part of its UK operations here further demonstrates MediaCityUK to be a leading creative, technological and digital hub in the UK.”
Alongside its smartphone handsets, Huawei also manufactures tech to support 5G infrastructure.
The firm’s name has been embroiled in international cybersecurity fears in the past year after six US intelligence chiefs cautioned against the firm’s infrastructure and banned companies from selling components to the firm.
Australia last year blocked its networks from using Huawei’s 5G tech.
The UK has yet to make a formal decision about the use of the technology, but said it should have decided ‘by autumn’.
“Over the last 18 years, we have helped build the UK’s broadband, 3G and 4G networks and, as independent analysts agree, Huawei can help British operators develop 5G networks that are more secure, more affordable and completed more quickly – helping to keep bills down for consumers and connect rural areas,” a Huawei spokesperson told the BBC.