Huawei in hiring spree for Kitchener-Waterloo office

Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., appears to be gearing up to establish operations right in BlackBerry’s backyard in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Huwaei, which in November last year announced it is investing some $210 million and create 325 new jobs in Ontario to support its Canadian research and development and business operation, has apparently began scouting for engineers in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

Recently, the company has put out a job ad for a research director to be based in Kitchener and tasked “growing and leading an elite level team.”

Not only is Huawei setting up shop in BlackBerry’s backyard, it also appears to be targeting the Canadian smart phone maker’s business. Among the main responsibilities of the research director will be to build a “cohesive security product roadmap that spans various business groups” as well as “evangelize” Huawei’s security posture to the media, industry analysts and customers.

Huawei opened its Canadian office in 2008, around the time BCI Inc.’s Bell Canada and Telus began buying switches for their wireless networks. Later it sold equipment to Wind Mobile and SaskTel.

However, Huawei has also had to face allegations from a U.S. Congressional committee that its products are being used by the Chinese government to spy on other countries. The Globe and Mail has said one of the reasons the Harper government refused to allow Wind’s shareholder VimpleCom Ltd. permission to take over the company was because of Huawei’s equipment is in the carrier’s core. VimpelCom’s biggest shareholder is Russian magnate Mikhail Fridman.

Former Nortel Networks security advisor Brian Shields has also alleged that Huawei might have been a beneficiary of technology stolen from Nortel before it went bankrupt.

Chinese-language news outlet, also reported over the weekend that Huawei is “now aggressively recruiting a large number of engineers.”

The area of focus will be in mobile phone security software installations as well as business and commercial aspects of security.

Specific positions include:

  • Security researchers
  • Senior software security engineer
  • President of business development
  • Research president
  • Sales personnel

Last year Huawei hired a former BlackBerry executive to run its enterprise security operations.

Scott Totzke, who had been with BlackBerry since 2001and was its senior vice president for security from 2010 to 2014 when he retired, joined Huawei in September last year as senior vice-president of device and enterprise security.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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