China’s PLA-backed Huawei to expand presence, investment in Turkey

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ANKARA — Turkey intends to expand the presence of a controversial
telecommunications company suspected of quietly serving the military of China and

Turkey has approved a proposal for China’s Huawei to expand its presence
and investment. Huawei said it would bolster its research and development
center in Istanbul with a $15 million investment, making the largest such
facility outside China.

Huawei's research & development center in Istanbul.

“We are going to grow this center and employ more engineers,” Huawei’s Global Communications director Ross Gan said.

Huawei has been deemed by the U.S. intelligence community as an arm of China’s military. The company, which established a presence in Turkey in 2002, has played a major role in enhancing communications for Iran’s military and security forces, including the campaign against the opposition
in 2009.

Under the plan, Huawei, which focuses on software development, would increase its staff in Istanbul, currently at 850. Executives said Huawei would hire Turks for both managerial and technical positions.

Huawei’s expansion in Turkey has been rapid. In 2010, the company opened its R&D center in Istanbul and formed 100 business partnerships in Turkey.

“We use local workers and Turkish engineers in all of our projects,” Gan
told the Turkish daily Hurriyet. “Many of our managers are Turkish.”

On Dec. 9, Huawei said it would restrict business development in Iran
and no longer seek new customers. The company said its decision was part of
compliance with Western and United Nations sanctions on Iran.

“For communications networks that have been delivered or are under
delivery to customers, Huawei will continue to provide necessary services to
ensure communications for Iran’s citizens,” Huawei said.

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