Huawei is planning to build a 400-person chip research and development factory outside Cambridge, in the heart of the U.K.’s silicon chip industry and close to the headquarters of Arm Holdings.
The Chinese company's decision to make chips in Cambridge could create powerful competition for the region’s semiconductor talent. The company said it might eventually also develop artificial intelligence software there.
There is an ongoing debate on a possible involvement of Huawei in UK's 5G network, and the telecommunication infrastructure of other countries.
U.K.'s prime minister fired the country's defense chief over the alleged leaking of the secret National Security Council discussions that resulted in Huawei securing a role in the U.K.'s 5G build-out.
Then came the "was it or wasn't it" news that Vodafone, Europe's largest phone company, had (or hadn't) found backdoors in Huawei networking equipment some years ago.
Washington has advised allies not to use Huawei's equipment, saying that it remains an untrustworthy vendor.
Huawei's U.K. chip plant is due to be up and running within two years and create as many as 400 local jobs. If the U.K. decision remains unchanged, that will coincide with 5G network deployments across the country.