Huawei builds mini Europe in China to house R&D arm  |  Photo Credit: AP, File Image
Beijing: Chinese technology giant Huawei, which is in the eye of a global security storm, has built a new campus in China that looks like a cluster of European cities. The campus with an old European feel is connected through a futuristic tram service that takes thousands of Huawei employees to their destinations in the faux-Europe, dotted with 12 buildings, the Efe news reported.
The company has opted for the ostentatious campus in Dongguan (south) for research and development. There are replicas of Italian towers, artificial lakes and palaces. The campus houses buildings and squares that look like the ones of the medieval Europe, reflecting Huawei’s infinite global ambitions despite a tough year marked by suspicions on security flaws in its devices and the arrest of its CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada.
The company announced on Friday its net profit in 2018 increased by 25.1 per cent year on year to 9.3 billion yuan and invested 101.5 billion yuan for research and development. The feel at the campus is surreal. Employees, visitors and clients riding the train get down at stops named like Paris, Verona, Freiburg and Granada.
The campus, spread over 1.4 million square meters, is situated on the banks of lake Songshan. It has been designed to create an idyllic work environment to motivate employees and where long-term plans of the company could be developed.
According to sources, these places are undergoing heavy investment in innovation in areas of virtual reality, in smart cities, with hyper-vigilance and facial recognition,- and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Joe Kelly, head of international communication, told a group of international journalists that all these new strategies and values of the company inspire self-criticism and cooperation among employees. However, the journalists raised the issues the company is facing, including the security conditions of 5G mobile connectivity.
Guo Ping, Rotating Chairman of the company, said none of its products have technological back doors or nor does it have the capability to access a device without the knowledge of the user.
The clarification comes in the middle of allegations that Huawei was part of Beijing’s intelligence system that led the European Commission to urge countries to analyse and be alert of threats that the tech giant poses to the development of 5G data connectivity.
At the moment, Huawei devices are banned in the US, Australia and New Zealand. A possible ban in other countries would be a bad news for the company, for which Europe id the biggest market.