The Chinese handset maker and infrastructure vendor Huawei has just announced that they’re going to spend 70 million Euros over the next five years to open a research and development office in Helsinki, Finland. Said office will employ 100 people who will mainly be tasked with writing software for both Android and Windows Phone. This office is Huawei’s 11th in Europe. To put some perspective on how tiny it is, today Huawei has 7,000 people working for them on the continent. The company wants to double that within three to five years according to Dow Jones.

So why should you care about this news? Because Nokia is in trouble. The Finnish handset maker has been letting people go at a furious rate. Those people will now have somewhere to go. Admittedly Huawei hiring 100 people doesn’t sound like much, but you never know, they might change their plans and decide to go even bigger.

When we think about all the companies that are currently battling it out for smartphone dominance, Huawei is easily a player we see eventually becoming the next Samsung. It might not happen in 2013 or 2014, but everything is in place for them to turn into an absolute powerhouse.

Is there anyone else you should be following? Yes. Lenovo is slowly starting to expand their presence outside China. They don’t want to compete in the high end market just yet, but that’ll happen sooner rather then later. There’s also ZTE, which can be best be though of like this: You know how LG and Samsung are from South Korea, yet Samsung is the company kicking ass and taking names? ZTE is the LG in this relationship. Don’t believe us?

Kenneth Fredriksen (pictured above), who today is in charge of Huawei’s presence in the Nordics, left ZTE after five years at the company. That should tell you just about everything you need to know.

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