Chinese ICT giant Huawei finds the Finnish business environment open and easy going, not to mention an ideal test bed for new mobile device technologies. This is why they decided to invest EUR 70 million in an R&D center in Finland at the end of 2012. China-Finland Golden Bridge and Invest in Finland worked together to make the investment process as smooth as possible.
Huawei has been expanding its operations in Europe and its latest investment in research and development in Helsinki was a natural step forward. The Helsinki R&D center will be a key driver for Huawei’s smartphones, tablets and media-rich devices, which are aiming to optimise the user experience of existing operating systems such as Android and Windows Phone 8. The company believes in building its brand by providing consumers with a reliable and differentiated user experience.
Huawei opened a sales department in Helsinki in 2008, which has supplied USB modems and network solutions to the Finnish markets. The new Helsinki R&D center is planned to employ more than 100 professionals in the next five years. It will serve as one of Huawei’s core centers for device development, together with its modem and technology center in Sweden and the user interface research center in the United Kingdom.
“Finland is one of the leading countries in telecoms technology and the birthplace of Linux, the open source operating system that we use in our network solutions and hardware technology. We regard the Finnish business environment as very open and the government’s attitude as welcoming towards foreign investments. The FDI functions are ready to serve us here,” says Bai Zhimao, Country Manager of Huawei Finland.
Competent professionals and effective networking
Huawei is pleased with the level of Finnish ICT know-how, which has been built up around mobile technology in world-class companies like Nokia. Finland is also well known for its excellent education system and innovative cooperation between companies and universities.
“It is easier to find top class engineers in Finland than many other countries at the moment”, says Timo Jokiaho, Vice President of Huawei’s Finnish R&D Center. “We’re also very happy with the smooth cooperation with research institutes in Finland. The company has a research project with Tampere University of Technology and has ongoing discussions with the Aalto University.
Positive indicators for ICT business in Finland
Besides focusing on developing smartphone software and user interfaces, Huawei aims to carry out its newest 5G research, while continuing its radio interface development. The company is also interested in finding collaboration partners with Finnish companies.
“There are many positive indicators for the telecommunications business in Finland. We believe that our business plans will benefit the whole of Finnish society,” states Timo Jokiaho enthusiastically.
Golden Bridge and Invest in Finland helped smooth the investment process
China-Finland Golden Bridge Innovation Center, along with national partner Invest in Finland, worked closely with Huawei during its investment process into Finland. Golden Bridge CEO Marko Vänskä scheduled matchmaking meetings, bridging Huawei with local industry cooperation partners as well as providing support in employee visa applications and relocation matters. All in all, Huawei met close to 50 companies prior to the investment decision.
”During the process of establishing Huawei’s R&D center in Finland, Golden Bridge provided us with high quality services to make the investment happen”, says Mr. Jinxi Li, Director of Huawei’s R&D center in Finland. This made Huawei’s integration into the local innovation system faster and easier. I highly appreciated the effort that Golden Bridge has made for our center. I am looking forward to further cooperation with Golden Bridge to seek more opportunities to work with Finnish companies.”
Full support was also given by Invest in Finland, as Alpo Akujärvi provided Huawei with detailed information about Finnish ICT opportunities, competent professionals and suitable premises in Finland. “Invest in Finland’s assistance was helpful throughout the whole investment process. Their personnel’s feedback was efficient and they were able to offer concrete answers to your questions very quickly”, says Mr. Bai Zhimao, Country Manager of Huawei Finland.