Huawei secures top fifth spot in global R&D investment rankings TechNode

In the recently published EU Industrial Research and Development (R&D) Investment Index 2023 compiled by the European Commission, Chinese technology giant Huawei maintained its position among the top five global companies making the highest R&D investments in 2022.

Why it matters: Huawei is increasing investment in research and development to strengthen its technological independence in the face of US sanctions. This strategic move allows the telecom giant to mitigate the impact of sanctions while preparing for long-term growth amid geopolitical challenges.

details: The European Commission report provides statistics on investment in research and development (R&D) for the top 2,500 ranked companies. This shows that these businesses collectively increased their R&D spending by 12.8% in 2022 compared to 2021, reaching a record €1,249.9 billion. Although Huawei dropped one place compared to the 2021 list, it still secured the fifth position with an investment of 20.925 billion euros.

  • In 2022, Huawei, TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) and CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited) secured positions among the top ten R&D investments in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. The ICT sector covers computer services, semiconductors, telecommunications and multimedia.
  • In 2022, Huawei invested 20.925 billion euros, with an annual growth of 11%, while TSMC invested 4.985 billion euros, demonstrating a significant annual growth of 31%. CATL, meanwhile, invested €3.072 billion, an explosive increase of 110% year-on-year.
  • The top three countries represented on the list are the US, China and Japan. The US leads with 827 companies on the list, investing a significant €526.5 billion, while China follows closely behind with 679 companies that have allocated a total of €222 billion to R&D. Japan boasts 229 companies on the list with a total R&D expenditure of €116.2 billion.
  • In terms of the distribution of R&D investment by region, the US, China and the European Union occupy the top three positions, securing shares of 42.1%, 17.8% and 17.5% respectively.

Context: On Wednesday, the Chinese Academy of Engineering released its list of Top 10 Engineering Achievements for 2023, which includes the Huawei-developed HarmonyOS operating system. The other nine selected achievements were ChatGPT, the Chinese space station, AMD’s Frontier (a supercomputer capable of 100 billion x billion calculations per second), the Baihetan hydroelectric plant, the double asteroid redirection test, the RTS vaccine, S/AS01 against malaria, Robots Spot & Atlas, Li-ion Power Batteries and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

  • In August 2023, Huawei released HarmonyOS 4.0 as a public beta in an attempt to compete with Android and iOS. There are currently more than 400 partners involved in jointly building and sharing the technical foundation of HarmonyOS, according to Huawei.
  • Huawei plans to start construction of its first European factory in France in 2024, as reported on December 11. The facility is expected to focus on the production of 4G and 5G equipment, strengthening Huawei’s presence in Europe.

Jesse Wu is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. It covers the consumer electronics, semiconductor and gaming industries for TechNode. Contact her via email: [email protected]. More from Jessie Wu

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