Huawei is moving its research efforts up north.
The company’s founder confirmed earlier this week that the telecommunication company will be moving its U.S. research centre to Canada in an interview with the Globe and Mail.
“Because of the sanctions, we are not allowed to communicate with our employees in America. No phone calls. No e-mails. No contacts,” said Ren in the interview. “Huawei’s development has been blocked in America, and therefore we are moving our business to Canada.”
Ren said Canada will be the company’s main focus moving forward.
“If we give up on one country after another because of one incident, then we won’t have any business in the world,” Ren stressed.
Huawei did not detail its migration plan or where it’s looking to place the new research facility.
Chris Pereira, Huawei’s director of public affairs, hinted that Montreal may be a good bet to draw Canadian talent.
“Canada is facing an enormous opportunity this year,” wrote Pereira in an email to IT World Canada. “By continuing its long-standing tradition of being open and inclusive, Canada will continue to attract the best talent, investment, and jobs from around the world, especially in tech fields such as artificial intelligence. Places such as Montreal will definitely benefit from Canada’s strengths in artificial intelligence.”
Montreal currently hosts major AI research centres including the Samsung AI research centre, the Montreal AI Ethics Institute, and the newly-opened Mila centre.
Huawei has also been silent on how it plans to manage the staff in its current American research centre. In July, Reuters reported that it trimmed 600 employees from its subsidiary research branch Futurewei.