Huawei has unveiled plans to open three ‘experience’ stores in the UK just days after the government confirmed the company would be banned from participating in the rollout of 5G networks.
The Chinese mobile phone giant already has own-branded stores in Madrid, Barcelona and Paris but an outlet in London’s Olympic Park, set to open in October, will its first in Britain.
A second store will open its doors is planned for Manchester in February 2021 with a third store in an unspecified location set to follow. In addition to stocking Huawei smartphones, laptops and other products, the stores will provide product training, assistance and consultations to customers.
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Huawei UK stores
Huawei says the launches demonstrate its commitment to the UK market and when combined with an existing service centre in Wembley will see the creation of more than 100 jobs.
“We are excited to be making this strong commitment to the UK, and to be coming to the High Street to deliver our innovative new devices and experiences direct to the millions of people who own and love our products,” said Anson Zhang, managing director of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group.
“The opening of our new Huawei Experience Stores and Service Centres follows the strong growth of our UK consumer business in recent years, and shows the confidence we have in our future here. We know that millions of people here in the UK love our products and we’re delighted we will now have these new high street spaces where we can interact with our owners in a more personal way.”
Earlier this week, the company’s future in the UK market was placed into serious doubt after a reversal in government policy saw operators banned from purchasing Huawei 5G kit by 2020. What’s more, they will have to remove any existing gear in their network by 2027. The decision was justified on national security grounds, although Huawei denies any allegations of wrongdoing.
The company’s consumer division has had its own setbacks, too. Last year, Washington effectively blacklisted Huawei, limiting its access to US technology - including Google services and applications.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.