Huawei Is Expanding in Canada, Despite U.S. Pressure

SAN FRANCISCO — Huawei, the Chinese technology company accused by the authorities in the United States of posing a security risk, is expanding its operations in Canada.

Huawei said on Thursday that it would hire 200 new employees in Canada — an increase of about 20 percent to the company’s work force in the country. The new hires are part of an expansion of Huawei’s research and development efforts as it works to secure a place in the development of Canada’s 5G wireless networks.

Huawei, one of the largest telecommunications technology makers in the world, is fighting to maintain its position under increasing pressure from the United States. American authorities believe that Huawei technology could allow the Chinese government to spy on countries that rely on the company’s wireless network systems.

Huawei will increase its investments in Canadian research and development by 15 percent, building on a $136 million investment it made in 2018, the company said.

The company has maintained a strong presence in Canada and Europe even as its business in the United States has been curtailed over spying fears. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday warned that the United States would reconsider partnerships with countries that chose to use Huawei for communications networks.

“If a country adopts this and puts it in some of their critical information systems, we won’t be able to share information with them, we won’t be able to work alongside them,” Mr. Pompeo said in an interview on Fox Business Network.

As telecom companies in Canada, the United States and Europe begin building 5G networks, they have weighed whether to install Huawei’s hardware. The Trump administration has pushed American allies to avoid it, while Huawei has denied accusations that it spies on behalf of the Chinese government. President Trump hinted in a tweet on Thursday that his stance against Huawei might soften.

“I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies,” he tweeted.

Huawei’s chairman, Liang Hua, emphasized the company’s 10-year history in Canada at a media event Thursday in Toronto, describing the country as “an open and inclusive place” that cultivates talent.

“At the end of the day, we hope that the decision on 5G can be made based on technology, instead of other factors. We want it to be a level playing field,” Mr. Liang said through a translator.

In December, Canadian authorities detained Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of the company’s founder, on behalf of the United States. American authorities accused Ms. Meng of participating in a scheme to violate sanctions against Iran and requested her extradition. She is currently free on bail in Vancouver.

“I cannot say the U.S. charges against Ms. Meng are not politically driven,” Mr. Liang said on Thursday. “I believe she is innocent, and I hope that the Canadian legal system could bring justice back to her.”