Nokia has created a new unit dedicated to helping “webscale” companies in China to expand overseas.

Chief Strategy Officer Kathrin Buvac will head up the unit, which will focus on supplying the likes of data centre, cloud and IP routing technology.

Nokia said it also planned to offer expertise in emerging areas such as edge cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The unit will look to leverage Nokia Shanghai Bell, a joint venture with investment company China Huaxin that Nokia said last month would formally begin operations in July.

The R&D-focused JV comprises 16,000 staff working across six sites in China.

Nokia aims to build on a deal, signed at this year’s Mobile World Congress, to supply its data interconnect solution to Xiaomi.

Chairman Risto Siilasmaa met with “high-ranking Chinese authorities” today (29 June) to share the company's plans.

The vendor said the move was part of its strategy to expand its customer base beyond telcos.

Earlier this month, Nokia won a deal to provide packet microwave technology to state and local governments across the US.

Reports yesterday claimed rival Ericsson was ditching plans to go after non-telco clients, but the Swedish company said it would instead rely on operators to sell relevant services.

Nokia remains commited to doing it alone, as it looks to turnaround its financial performance.

Sales declined four percent year-on-year to €5.4 billion in the first quarter, versus a 10 percent fall in 2016 as a whole.

Losses were reduced by €277 million year-on-year to €435 million.

Meanwhile, Nokia announced it has completed its €347 million acquisition of Comptel.

Read more: Nokia to acquire Comptel in software push

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