August 9, 2019 / 12:06 PM / 9 days ago

China's Huawei eyes new Brazil factory amid 5G push

SAO PAULO, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd plans to build an $800 million plant in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state over the next three years, the governor said, as the Chinese telecom giant continues to ramp up its presence in Latin America to the displeasure of U.S. authorities.

In an audio recording of a press conference in China, Sao Paulo Governor João Doria, accompanied by Huawei executives, said the company was gearing up to build the plant to attend to Brazil’s first 5G spectrum auction, which is scheduled for March 2020.

Huawei already has one factory in Sao Paulo, which employs 2,000 people directly, Doria said. Huawei will be deciding on the location of the next factory in the coming months, with the $800 million investment expected to take place over a three-year period.

U.S. President Donald Trump has urged governments worldwide to shun Huawei, arguing its equipment could be vulnerable to Chinese eavesdropping. So far, few have heeded the warnings.

Trump raised the issue of Huawei during a visit by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the White House in March. But Brazil’s vice president, Hamilton Mourão, said in June that Brazil had no plans to bar Huawei from its 5G network, saying the government trusts the company and the country needs its technology.

Reporting by Eduardo Simões Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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