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Huawei Technologies, China's largest telecommunications equipment maker, hopes to increase its international sales from $2.28bn last year to more than $10bn by 2008 as part of an ambitious global expansion strategy.

The plan, disclosed by two Huawei executives, envisions mostly organic growth, although strategic acquisitions of smaller companies are also possible.

?We have our vision to become a leading company in the telecommunications field,? said Xu Zhijun, executive vice-president, in an interview.

Huawei's moves are being closely followed by telecommunications equipment makers around the world, as the Chinese company's low prices and competitive products have been winning it more contracts outside its domestic market. In December, Huawei beat Ericsson of Sweden to supply Telfort, a Dutch mobile operator, with third-generation (3G) mobile phone equipment, its first such contract in the competitive European market.

After years of investment in developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America, Huawei is building a presence in Europe, the world's second largest 3G market after Japan.

It has offices in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and research and development facilities in Stockholm.

Huawei will also be focusing more on the US and Canada. ?The North American market will be our next target after Europe,? said Edward Deng, president of European operations.

With this expansion, Mr Deng expects Huawei's international revenues will exceed those in China starting this year.

In 2003, the latest year for which figures are available, Huawei's contracted orders outside China were $1.05bn, or 27 per cent of the $3.83bn total. Huawei aims to double international sales to more than $4bn this year.

Overseas sales of $10bn would put Huawei in the ?top tier? of telecoms equipment suppliers, based on estimated global spending by wireless and fixed-line operators of $170bn in 2008, according to Duncan Clark, of BDA China, a Beijing-based telecoms consultancy.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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