SANTA CLARA: Huawei is moving into the US market after investing heavily in R&D, as it attempts to become one of China's first true global brands.

The telecommunications equipment giant is becoming an aggressive player in the highly competitive technology arena, and could soon strike a big partnership deal with US firm Sprint Nextel.

Huawei specialises in sophisticated voice and video enhancement equipment for wireless and internet use.

It currently has 17 research centres around the world, including in Dallas, Moscow, Bangalore and Santa Clara.

Almost half of the company's 96,000 employees are engaged in R&D, and its latest $340m (€244m, £214m) research centre in Shanghai has the capacity for 8,000 engineers.

To introduce itself to the US markets, Huawei helped to create Amerilink Telecom, an American distributor of Huawei products.

It has also struck a deal with American internet communications firm Clearwire to test a system based on Huawei's 4G, or fourth-generation, network technology.

But a possible decision by Sprint Nextel, the third largest wireless carrier in the US, to buy $3bn (€2.1bn, £1.9bn) of Huawei's advanced wireless equipment could represent the Chinese firm's most significant American deal.

The Chinese company also has contracts in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

Commentators are watching developments closely because Huawei, as the world's second-largest telecom equipment supplier, is considered to be China's first multi-national corporation.

The company's international success represents a potential model for other Chinese organisations to expand around the world.

Ross Gan, a spokesman for Huawei, said: "We're an innovative company driven by the business needs of customers."

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by Warc staff