Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has announced a $200m (£125m) investment in a new UK R&D centre. The creation of the centre will create an extra 220 high-tech jobs on top of the 80 people already employed at Huawei's Ipswich R&D premises.
The UK government has been looking to boost Anglo-Chinese relations this week with a high-profile trade mission to the country conducted by chancellor George Osborne. China has been targeted as a major source of revenue for the UK, with announcements made yesterday to ease the immigration process for Chinese citizens looking to live and work in the UK.
Wednesday's trade mission had a heavy emphasis on "e-trade", with the Huawei announcement coupled with the news that major Chinese social gaming firm Rekoo would be setting up shop in East London's Tech City. This week also saw the announcement of a Chinese-built high-tech "Airport City" development in Manchester.
On the confirmation of Huawei's new investment plans during a visit to Huawei's headquarters, George Osborne said: "One of the most exciting opportunities for collaboration between Britain and China in the next step of our relationship is between our cutting-edge, high-tech companies. So I am delighted to be visiting Huawei's headquarters with leaders of some of Britain's most entrepreneurial tech companies to welcome Huawei's investment into the UK."
Accompanying Osborne on his tour of Huawei were various members of the UK tech community, including UK gaming pioneer Ian Livingstone, startup evangelist and former Tech City boss Eric van der Kleij, and Jon Reynolds, co-founder of software startup SwiftKey.
Meanwhile, CEO of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, hailed the UK as a key player in the global technology industry. "The UK is home to some of the best high-tech professionals in the world. Their creativity is a major asset to our R&D efforts, helping us produce the most advanced and competitive telecoms and broadband services available. Combined with an open and free-trade economy, this makes it a very good investment environment for Huawei. I have every confidence in Huawei's future in the UK."
While an area of immense opportunity for Western tech companies, China's largest tech players are made up almost entirely of brands completely unknown to consumers throughout the rest of the world. Baidu, China's largest search engine provider dwarfs Google in terms of usage, while Facebook equivalent Sina Weibo boasts more than 50 million daily active users.
Apple in particular has faced significant challenges in China, with Chinese state media criticising the firm for its warranty policies. Apple's latest product releases such as the iPhone 5C, as well as CEO Tim Cook's visit to the country over the summer, are seen as an attempt to appease both local consumer and mobile carriers. Apple's China-based manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron have themselves come under major scrutiny for poor treatment of employees.
Huawei itself has been eyed with some suspicion in the UK in recent months, coming under particularly heavy criticism for a lack of transparency in its security procedures.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago