Huawei Spent $3.76 Billion on Research Last Year, Ren Says

Huawei Technologies Co., China’s largest maker of phone equipment, said it spent $3.76 billion on research and development last year to boost its competitiveness in the global market.

The company has invested a total of $15 billion in research over the past 10 years, which allowed the company to file 40,000 patent applications, Ren Zhengfei, chief executive officer of the Shenzhen-based company, said in a speech to the European Competition Forum. His prepared remarks were supplied by the company.

Huawei is spending on research and development to aid its expansion beyond sales of phone-network equipment into cloud computing and mobile devices including tablet computers and smartphones. The products will help the company more than triple sales from 2010’s level to about $100 billion in the next five to 10 years, the company said in April.

“Driven by competition, we have to continuously improve,” Ren said in the speech. “A company that cannot continuously improve and innovate through fair competition in its home market can hardly be globally competitive.”

Huawei has also paid more than $1.2 billion to license technology from others, an amount Ren said is “unprecedented” among Chinese companies.

Sales were 185.2 billion yuan ($29 billion) in 2010, fueled by growth in overseas revenue, the company said in its annual report. Sales from outside China climbed to 65 percent of the total from 60 percent in 2009, according to the report.

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