BEIJING -- Controversial Chinese technology giant Huawei -- which has been condemned as a security risk in the U.S. and Australia -- is to recruit hundreds of research and development staff in Europe, the president of its French subsidiary said.
"In the next two or three years, we are going to double our researchers" in Europe, who currently number around 800, Francois Quentin said.
A total of 200 of the new staff, including applied mathematicians and designers, will be based in France.
It has 17 research sites in Europe spread across eight countries, including Germany, Finland and Italy, and expects to employ 13,000 people across the continent by 2017.
The Shenzhen-based firm was founded in 1987 by former People's Liberation Army engineer Ren Zhengfei, and is now among the world's top makers of telecommunications equipment.
Washington has long seen it as a security threat due to perceived close links to the Chinese government, which the company denies, and both the United States and Australia have barred it from involvement in broadband projects over espionage fears. It denies such allegations vigorously.
Huawei announced net profit of 21 billion yuan (US$3.47 billion) last year, up from 15.62 billion in 2012. Sales revenue surged 8.5% year on year to 239.03 billion yuan.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014