Huawei's plans to launch a London Design Centre (LDC) have moved a step closer after the manufacturer revealed it has hired a number of key members of the design team.
The Chinese company confirmed this week that the LDC team is already up and running, with key team members recruited. However, it is still seeking premises for the Centre, which is expected to be in located in the Tech City area of east London, near Shoreditch.
Tech City, also known as Silicon Roundabout, is a centre for technology giants such as Google and Facebook, as well as new start-ups. It is supported by a number of Government-backed initiatives.
A Huawei spokesman said: ‘We are committed to having a Design Centre in the UK. What we have at the moment is a virtual Design Centre with some roles already recruited but there isn’t a physical Design Centre as yet.'
The Chinese manufacturer announced plans to open the LDC last year. The centre, which will be overseen by Huawei Device’s UK & Ireland executive VP Mark Mitchinson, has a brief to deliver groundbreaking, quality designs for the European smartphone market and enable Huawei to respond quickly to local market demands. It also aims to develop innovative device design, free from the restraints of corporate culture.
Huawei’s focus on groundbreaking design is part of the manufacturer’s wider ambition to grow its smartphone market share in Europe. The company is planning a major marketing assault on the UK consumer market this autumn, which will see a heavyweight above-the-line marketing campaign to back the launch of its new devices portfolio and to raise brand awareness among UK consumers in the run up to the final quarter of 2012.
• Vodafone has said it will bring its expertise in helping innovative start-up businesses to a digital hub and plans to have it up and running towards the end of the year.
The new centre is aiming to provide innovative businesses in the mobile internet and creative media industries with technical expertise, potential financial assistance, logistical support and access to more than 400 million Vodafone customers across more than 30 countries worldwide.
Vodafone said its decision to locate a new technology and incubation centre in Tech City follows the success of Vodafone xone, which opened in Silicon Valley a year ago.
According to Vodafone, it offers companies support from a team of professionals whose expertise spans business development, network and device architecture, consumer electronics, payment and billing mechanisms, data analytics and content delivery.