Huawei Helps Support 51,000 UK Jobs, Study Finds

Business analyst group Oxford Economics has released an independent report that reveals the true scale of Huawei’s contribution to the United Kingdom economy.

The report for example found that Huawei contributed £3.3bn to UK GDP, in 2019 alone, and helped support 51,000 British jobs through its economic activity last year.

The report’s arrival comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July had ordered all Huawei equipment to be purged from Britain’s 5G network by 2027 over national security concerns. The Chinese firm also faces similar challenges in Europe and elsewhere.

UK contribution

The report meanwhile also showed that Huawei’s contribution to the UK economy has grown by 180 percent in real terms in the four years from 2015-2019.

This resulted in Huawei in 2019, contributing £1.1bn in UK tax revenues, which it points out is sufficient to pay for over 30,000 teachers’ salaries.

When Huawei’s contributions to the UK are examined on a regional basis, Oxford Economics found that Huawei’s biggest single contributions were in London (28.9 percent) and the South East (21.2 percent), nearly half of its economic impact was in other parts of the UK.

Four example, around £400m is contributed to the East of England, where Huawei has research facilities in Cambridge and Ipswich.

Huawei for example in June this year was approved by a local council in to build a $1.2 billion research facility in Cambridgeshire.

That new “state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing centre” is to be located in the heart of the UK’s ‘Silicon Fen’, and will be spread over nine acres, and will “focus on researching, developing, and manufacturing optoelectronics products.”

Other areas of the UK to benefit from Huawei include Scotland (to the tune of £149m), Northern Ireland by over £46m and the North West by £235m.

The many thousands of jobs supported are spread across the whole of the UK, said Oxford Economics.

Huawei also supported a large number of UK companies in its supply chain, spending more than £1.3bn with suppliers in 2019, it said.

Indeed, Huawei has spent over £4.1bn with suppliers in the past five years.

“This report is an objective way to show the full extent of Huawei’s economic impact in the UK,@ said Pete Collings, Director of Economic Impact Consulting at Oxford Economics.

“Companies like Huawei are major contributors to the UK directly but their impact is extended through the spending they undertake with other UK firms,” he said. “This spending, and the further economic activity it generates, sustains jobs across the country, contributing to UK GDP and government tax revenues.”

The report’s arrival was also noted by senior Huawei officials in the UK.

“Huawei stands ready to help Britain build back better,” said Victor Zhang, Huawei VP. “As this report shows, we have connected every part of the UK, helping to level up the country by supporting economic activity throughout the nations and regions.”

“But we can do much more, helping to close the digital divide and put Britain back in the fast lane,” said Zhang. “We hope the British government will keep an open mind and consider the economic consequences to a delay on the rollout of high speed networks. There is a better way forward.”

In June this year, when Huawei marked 20 years of its presence in the British market, it emphasised its “ongoing commitment” to providing connectivity technologies in the UK.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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