Huawei looks to move Middle East HQ to Saudi Arabia

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Huawei Technologies Co. is looking to make Riyadh its headquarters for the Middle East amid a push by the Saudi government to position itself as a regional business hub and growing diplomatic and business ties with China, according to people familiar with the matter.

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The Chinese company, which already has offices in the Saudi capital and other cities across the Middle East, is in talks with Riyadh authorities to upgrade its presence in the country, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

A final decision hasn’t yet been made by Huawei, the people said. A spokesman for Huawei declined to comment. The company currently has headquarters for the region in Dubai and Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia announced that from the beginning of 2024 government entities will be restricted from doing business with foreign firms that don’t have regional headquarters in the country, as it looks to limit leakage out of its economy and attract foreign investment.

Huawei has been boosting its presence in Saudi Arabia even as the US pushes allies to avoid the Chinese technology firm.

Government officials said about 80 companies had applied for licenses to move their headquarters to Riyadh at the end of last year.

Ties between Saudi Arabia and China have been growing. After a visit to Riyadh last year by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s the two countries signed $50 billion worth of agreements.

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