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Market Cap £34.50bn
Enterprise Value £58.72bn
Revenue £35.98bn
Position in Universe 256th / 6853

Huawei to open first flagship store outside China in Vienna

Thu 21st February, 2019 1:17pm
VIENNA, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Huawei  HWT.UL  is to open a
smartphone flagship store in Vienna, its first such outlet
outside China, as part of a charm offensive in Europe where its
future hangs in the balance.
    The world's biggest producer of telecoms equipment is under
scrutiny in the West over its relationship with the Chinese
government and U.S.-led allegations of enabling state espionage,
with Washington asking allies not to use Huawei's technology.
    Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations and did again
at a news conference in Vienna on Thursday.
    Joe Kelly, Vice President of Corporate Communications said
at the news conference: "We have never been asked by any
government or any authority anywhere in the world... to do
anything that would compromise or jeopardise... the security of
customer networks." 
    "If we ever are asked to do so, we will refuse," Kelly said.
    Huawei has deals with all three major Austrian telecoms
groups: A1 Telekom Austria  TELA.VI , controlled by Mexico's
America Movil  AMXL.MX , Deutsche Telekom's  DTEGn.DE  T-Mobile
Austria and Hutchison Whampoa's Drei Austria. 
    The company is ready to help them build 5G infrastructure
for the next generation mobile networks, the CEO of Huawei's
Austrian business said.
    "We are more than ready to support Austria on its way to
becoming a 5G pioneer with our know how and our solutions," Pan
Yao said. 
    Austria, a laggard in the European Union for fast broadband
connections, wants to become a 5G pioneer in Europe. It is among
the first in the European Union to auction the licences. Results
of the 3.4 to 3.8 GHz band auction, which will mainly speed up
data services in densely populated areas, are expected within
    The allegations against Huawei have led several Western
countries to restrict the company's access to their markets and
the European Union to consider proposals that could amount to a
de facto ban.*:nL5N1ZU320
    Austria's technology ministry on Thursday reaffirmed it was
aiming for a European stance on whether or not to allow the
Chinese firm to equip 5G networks.
    "Our priority is to protect our networks," a spokesman for
the technology ministry said, adding that he was not aware of
concrete suspicions against Huawei.
    Huawei, which says it is the second biggest smartphone
seller in Austria with a market share of 28 percent, said it was
considering whether to invest in research and development in the
country but did not provide any details.
    It plans to open its Vienna flagship store in the summer.

($1 = 0.8809 euros)

 (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle. Editing by Jane Merriman)
 ((; +43 1 53112 255; Reuters
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