Thursday 22 March 2018

Controversial Chinese firm Huawei spends €25m on Amartus deal

€25m - Price paid by Huawei for software developed in Dublin
€25m - Price paid by Huawei for software developed in Dublin
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

The buyer behind Ireland's latest multimillion euro technology sale was one of the globe's most controversial companies - Huawei.

The Chinese multinational paid €25m for sophisticated telecoms software developed by Dublin-based Amartus as well as its senior and product staff, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

The deal gives Huawei it ownership of software which controls telecoms virtually and reduces the need for engineers to physically work with the equipment.

Huawei's notoriety stems from repeated accusations by governments around the world that it uses its telecoms resources to spy on behalf of the Chinese government.

The company has denied the claims, but as a result has been barred from major contracts in America and Australia, and has been forced to submit its equipment to constant scrutiny by GCHQ in the UK.

The world's biggest supplier of telecoms equipment has still enjoyed rapid growth from its founding in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

The company has managed this with relatively few acquisitions, instead focusing on growing internally through investment in R&D.

The deal with Amartus, a software company founded in 2003 by UCD graduates Michael Kearns and Richard Meade, is not Huawei's first foray into Ireland.

Huawei (Ireland) has around 90 staff in sales and research and development roles. It has three R&D centres in Cork, Dublin and Athlone, mainly working on network operations.

Amartus will still live on, with the remains of the company retaining the right to service existing customers and provide other IT services.

Sunday Indo Business

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