04:58 GMT05 April 2020
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    The US accused the Chinese tech giant of installing backdoors into its equipment to facilitate Beijing's espionage on its clients and called on other countries to exclude Huawei equipment from their 5G networks.

    Huawei's chairman Liang Hua has announced that the company will be building a manufacturing plant in France, the first of its kind in Europe and the second for Huawei outside of China. The tech giant will invest some $217 million in the first phase of building the plant and will create 500 jobs, Liang Hua stated. 

    Now that the company will be producing mobile base stations directly near one of its biggest markets, in Europe, Huawei might alleviate some of the concerns that it installs the means for the Chinese government to spy on its clients in its products. 

    "This site will supply the entire European market, not just France's. Our group's activities are worldwide, and for this, we need a global industrial footprint", the tech giant's chairman said.

    It's unclear so far if French authorities have already authorised the plant's construction.

    The claims about Huawei's alleged pre-installed backdoors have been inflated mainly by the US government, which started a campaign against the tech giant in 2019. Namely, Washington was planning on banning its products entirely from the US. It also pressured foreign countries to deny Huawei access to their future 5G networks, threatening to cease intelligence-sharing programmes with those of its allies who chose to stick with the Chinese company.

    Few countries, however, fulfilled the US demands. Its ally, the UK allowed Huawei to participate in "non-core" systems of 5G networks. France and Germany are yet to clarify their positions on Huawei. Both countries, however, promised to scrutinise any 5G equipment on security issues.

    Huawei has repeatedly denied claims that its products are unsafe and can compromise national security. The company also promised to sue the US over its measures, which, the company claims, Washington uses to curb Huawei's global growth because American companies are unable to keep up with it.

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