On the latest leg of his trip to strengthen economic ties between Britain and China, the Chancellor has today (Wednesday 16 October) welcomed investment commitments from two of China’s internet giants – Huawei and Rekoo - confirming the UK’s status as a world centre for digital innovation.
Huawei have confirmed plans for a new $200m R&D centre in the UK as part of their US$2 billion investment commitment to the UK. Currently, Huawei employs over 80 R&D engineers in its existing UK R&D office in Ipswich. They will now employ a total of 300 high-tech R&D positions in the UK by 2017.
Meanwhile a leading Asian social gaming company, Rekoo, has announced that it will be the first high-profile Chinese tech company set up in London’s Tech City. Rekoo has more than 15 million daily PC gamers and 10 million daily smart phone gamers.
The Chancellor has made opening up “e-trade routes” and promoting Britain’s global advantage in the tech sector – a sector that will help drive both countries’ future growth – a key priority of his trip. A delegation of British tech companies has accompanied him on the trip to showcase the best of Britain’s digital technology industry in China, strengthen ties between British and Chinese companies and help British companies gain access to the fast expanding Chinese market.
Technology solutions will play a crucial role in the next stage of China’s development in areas like smart cities, e-health and education technology – all areas represented in the UK’s delegation.
The delegation has been designed to introduce UK companies to the ‘gatekeepers’ to online Chinese consumers. The companies include social media platforms such as Sina Weibo and Tencent or search engine Baidu. They are themselves fast becoming the largest online brands in the world.
The delegation accompanying the Chancellor to China includes many of the biggest innovators in UK tech, including: Ian Livingstone CBE, one of the founding fathers of the UK games industry Chairman of Playdemic and Founder of the Livingstone Foundation; Adrian Hilti, co-founder of Busuu; Stephen Greaves, CEO of Cambridge Communication Systems; Emily Orton, senior associate of Darktrace; Jonathan Satchell, chief executive of Epic Learning Group; Michael Movel, CEO of Fat Pebble; Dr Sobia Hamid, senior vice-president of Genalys; Tom Symonds, CEO of Immerse Learning; Luke Alvarez, CEO of Inspired Gaming Group; Vanessa Colomar of Invoke Capital and co-founder Dr Mike Lynch; Jean Nehme, CEO of Kinosis; Eric van der Kleij, head of Level 39; Justin Pike, chief technical officer of Licentia Group; Ben Whately, CFO of Memrise; Lee Cameron, deputy CEO of Monitise, Allan Syms, commercial director of myPinPad; Andrew Cuthbert, CEO of Ominisoft Services; Ross Linnett, MD of Recite Me; Mikko Martikainen, CEO of Sayduck; Jon Reynolds, CEO co-founder of Swiftkey and Elisa Harca, regional director, Red Ant.
Photo courtesy of Michali K on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.