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Business Transformation

Eurobites: Operation 'Woo China' Kicks In

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson in Chinese 5G venture; "right to be forgotten" latest; Huawei hiring in South Africa.

  • Are we on the brink of an upsurge in Chinese investment in the European telecom industry? That's certainly what the European Commission would like to think, and to that end it this week played its part in a meeting organized by ChinaEU, a business trade association, reports Reuters. The pow-wow brought together executives from Chinese and European companies, China Mobile Communications Corp. and Finnish games maker Rovio Mobile Ltd. among them, to discuss potential opportunities for cooperation and investment. The Commission recently announced a €315 billion (US$360 billion) investment plan to re-energize the European Union economy. (See Eurobites: EU Mobilizes Billions for Broadband and Eurobites: Huawei Plans EU Procurement Surge.)

  • And continuing the theme, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has agreed to work with the Chinese Academy of ICT on 5G development projects. The pair will focus particularly on the promotion of 5G standards.

  • An influential group of Internet bigwigs, Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales among them, has roundly rejected the proposal by European Union privacy watchdogs to extend the "right to be forgotten" principle to Google's main US site, reports Bloomberg. The principle forces Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and other search engines to remove certain links to personal information on search results at people's request, but Google argues that by removing the links on its individual sites within the EU it is meeting the spirit of the ruling. (See Eurobites: EU Warns Google Over 'Right to Be Forgotten' Opportunism and EC Proposes Reform of Data Privacy Laws.)

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has announced plans to increase the number of its local staff in South Africa by 50% over the next five years as it deepens its investment in the country. As of December 31, 2014, Huawei employed 1,028 people in South Africa.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) is revisiting its plan to spin off its call center operation as a separate unit. The company has been in negotiations with labor unions regarding the move in recent months.

  • Italian mobile operator Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA has chosen Albertis as the preferred bidder for a stake in its towers portfolio, reports Reuters. Wind, which is controlled by Russia's VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP), is looking to reduce its debts through the sale.

  • Today is deadline day for bids for the next round of the English soccer Premier League's TV rights, the results of which will have huge repercussions for Sky and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), among others. As well as BT, Sky now faces possible competition from the John Malone-owned Discovery Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), which bought Eurosport a year ago, reports Bloomberg.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • aamir786 10/21/2019 | 4:48:10 AM
    Very Good Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has announced plans to increase the number of its local staff in South Africa by 50% over the next five years as it deepens its investment in the country. As of December 31, 2014, Huawei employed 1,028 people in South Africa.
    nasimson 2/8/2015 | 11:14:12 PM
    Re: Reciprocity Chinese Telecom is a closed industry. Only 3 cellcos operate in mainland. All 3 have government share holding. Telecom equipment is mostly supplied by ZTE and HUAWEI. It's one of those sectors, where Chinese government has not been much open to foreign investment.
    R Clark 2/8/2015 | 8:16:39 PM
    Reciprocity Cooperation in mobile games and in particular 5G makes sense. But investment in European networks is off the menu until China opens up its own services sector.
    Joe Stanganelli 2/8/2015 | 2:58:22 AM
    Seems like just a matter of time. Considering how rapidly the Chinese economy has been expanding, I'm hardly surprised by the first tidbit.  China appears to be just as much a superpower these days as the US is, so it's not so surprising that they're industries are reaching deeper into the European/EMEA regions.
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