Chinese telecoms giant Huawei calls in Pelham and Harvard

Chinese networking and telecoms multinational Huawei Technologies has called in two PR agencies as it readies a major expansion into the UK.

Huawei: Planning UK expansion
Huawei: Planning UK expansion

The brand has appointed Pelham Bell Pottinger and Harvard PR to handle its UK corporate and b2b PR respectively ahead of a £1.2bn investment into the country.

The world's second-largest telecoms equipment maker kicked off a review of the two accounts in May. Both briefs were previously held by Fleishman-Hillard, which remains onboard for consumer work.

Ed Brewster, communication director at Huawei UK & Ireland, commented: ‘We have been impressed with Pelham and Harvard’s ability to deliver an integrated offering and team. Pelham will develop and execute a corporate reputation programme for us – which is a new brief – while Harvard will handle the day-to–day b2b PR needs for Huawei UK.’

He added: ‘We will continue to work with Fleishman-Hillard across our consumer business, and thank them for their support on b2b PR over the past six years. They remain an important partner for us both in the UK and internationally.’

Pelham and Harvard were previously sister companies at Chime Communications, before Pelham was one of the agencies involved in the MBO to create Bell Pottinger Private. Harvard remains part of the Chime-owned Good Relations Group.

Earlier this month Huawei announced it is to invest US$2bn (£1.2bn) to expand its operation in Britain and create around 700 jobs over the next five years, growing its UK workforce to more than 1,500 by 2017.

Founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei outlined Huawei's plan after meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron.

The firm’s international expansion into the US and Australia has been less smooth, with progress hindered by concerns over cyber security and the firm’s supposed links with the Chinese military. Earlier this year the Australian government blocked the firm from tendering for its national broadband network.

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