Huawei planning to build smartphone R&D facility in Korea
“Huawei is preparing to establish an R&D center in Korea,” said Kevin Ho, president of Huawei’s handset product line, at a press conference yesterday at the company’s headquarters in Jung District, central Seoul.
However, Ho did not give specific details, such as the size of the facility, the date that it would be completed or the location of the property.
“We are fully prepared to establish the center with the assets, hardware and software ready, but we have not yet confirmed how the facility will be constructed in terms of size,” Ho said. “We could build a relatively larger-scale R&D center if the Korean government grants more support.”
Huawei currently has R&D centers in 16 countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany and India.
The company currently invests $3 billion to $5 billion, or about 10 percent of its annual profit, into R&D centers around the world.
Huawei has about 7,000 research employees in its business-to-consumer (B2C) sector, including smartphone manufacturing.
If completed, Huawei’s research center will be the first in Korea by a global smartphone manufacturer, after Motorola closed their R&D and design centers as it withdrew its business in Korea.
Huawei recently launched the five-inch smartphone X3 in Korea and said it is looking to expand its retail network.
Regarding the company’s strategy for the Korean market, Ho said it will build its consumer-friendly image with products tailored to the taste of locals, including expanding its after-service centers.
As for speculation that Huawei could purchase Pantech, Korea’s third-largest phone maker that is currently under court receivership, Ho said that the company has nothing to say about the acquisition.
BY KIM JUNG-YOON [firstname.lastname@example.org]