(Reuters) – China’s Huawei said on Thursday it would invest 200 million euros in building a mobile phone network equipment factory in the east of France, pressing ahead with the roll-out despite French curbs on firms using its 5G gear.
The plant will initially employ 300 people, growing to 500 in the longer term, and its products will go to Huawei’s European clients.
The Chinese technology company, which had already floated plans for a French factory, said in March it would persevere regardless of whether the French government cracked down on telecoms companies using its equipment.
The plant is part of efforts to ease worldwide concerns stoked by U.S. charges, repeatedly denied by Huawei, that Beijing could use the company’s equipment for spying.
France has not banned mobile phone operators from using Huawei equipment outright, but in July authorities told telecoms companies planning to buy firm’s 5G equipment that they would not be able to renew licences for the gear once they expired, effectively phasing it out of mobile networks.
Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Kirsten Donovan