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Thursday, December 21, 2023

Huawei secures top five spot in global enterprise R&D investment ranking

Huawei has maintained its position among the top five global companies that made the highest R&D investments in 2022. Credit: 123rf

In the recently released 2023 EU Industrial Research and Development (R&D) Investment Scoreboard ↗ put together by the European Commission, Chinese tech giant Huawei has maintained its position among the top five global companies that made the highest R&D investments in 2022.

Why it matters: Huawei has been increasing R&D investment to strengthen its technological self-reliance in the face of US sanctions. This strategic move allows the telecoms behemoth to mitigate the impact of sanctions while preparing itself for long-term development amid geopolitical challenges.

Details: The European Commission’s report ↗ provides statistics on research and development (R&D) investment for the top 2,500 ranked companies. It indicates that these enterprises collectively increased their R&D expenditure by 12.8% in 2022 compared to 2021, reaching a record-breaking total of 1,249.9 billion euros. Although Huawei dropped one spot compared to the 2021 list but still secured 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 in R&D investment within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. The ICT sector covers computing services, semiconductors, telecommunications, and multimedia.
  • In 2022, Huawei invested 20.925 billion euros, with a year-on-year growth of 11%, while TSMC invested 4.985 billion euros, demonstrating a significant year-on-year growth of 31%. Meanwhile, CATL invested 3.072 billion euros, an explosive year-on-year increase of 110%.
  • 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 substantial 526.5 billion euros, while China follows closely with 679 companies who have allocated a total of 222 billion euros to R&D endeavors. Japan boasts 229 companies on the list, with a total R&D expenditure of 116.2 billion euros.
  • In terms of distribution of R&D investment across regions, the US, China, and the European Union occupied the top three positions, securing shares of 42.1%, 17.8%, and 17.5%, respectively.

Context: The Chinese Academy of Engineering issued its list of 2023 Global Top Ten Engineering Achievements ↗ on Wednesday, with Huawei’s self-developed operating system HarmonyOS being recognized among them. 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 hydropower station, the double-asteroid redirection test, the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine, Spot & Atlas robots, lithium-ion power batteries, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

  • In August 2023, Huawei released HarmonyOS 4.0 ↗ as a public beta version, in an effort to compete with Android and iOS. Currently, there are over 400 partners participating in co-building on and sharing of the technical foundation of HarmonyOS, according to Huawei ↗
  • Huawei plans to commence construction of its first European factory ↗ in France in 2024, as reported on Dec. 11. The facility is expected to focus on 4G and 5G equipment production, reinforcing Huawei’s presence in Europe.


Jessie Wu is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. She covers consumer electronics, semiconductor, and the gaming industry for TechNode. Connect with her via e-mail: [email protected].
More by Jessie Wu


Kaylie Pferten
Kaylie Pferten
A pilot of submersible crafts in a former life, now married to my husband David and writing about investment advice.

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