Despite US opposition, Huawei has gained a wider foothold in Brazil, with reports suggesting that the Chinese tech giant is set to build a mega factory in Sao Paulo to manufacture telecom equipment.
This will be the company’s second manufacturing unit in the Brazilian city, with the existing one producing networking-equipment with a workforce of around 2,000 people.
The new factory, to be built at a cost of US$800 million, will focus on making 5G cell phones, because the South American country is gearing up to auction 5G spectrum in the near future.
Brazil has a huge market for smartphones, and most of the foreign phone makers have set up manufacturing plants there. Huawei is reportedly the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in South America, with Samsung, Motorola and Apple controlling a larger share of the market.
Huawei seems to have chosen to establish a factory instead of importing the devices from China, because shipping phones pushes up their prices.
Meanwhile, the Chinese firm has unveiled a new mobile operating system called Harmony, which is an open-source system like Android and can be adopted by third-party manufacturers.
The US President Donald Trump has urged his allies to ban Huawei, saying its telecom networks and equipment could help the communist regime to eavesdrop on them. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is believed to be Trump’s close friend. However, the Brazilian government has made it clear that it has no plans to run Huawei out of its telecom market.