Chinese firms seek London hub

London is fast becoming a hub for Chinese businesses looking to expand globally.

This month, PetroChina, one of the world's largest oil and gas producers, is searching for offices in central London of more than 45,000 sq ft. It already has a small office in Centre Point, but is looking for something larger.

PetroChina is increasing its European holdings and last month bought a 50 per cent stake in INEOS's refining business, which has plants in Scotland and France.

The Hong Kong listed Brightoil Petroleum is also planning to open a London office and is looking for around 20,000 sq ft of space.

The Chinese telecoms firm Huawei, although it already has a small office in Basingstoke – around 5,000 sq ft of space – is planning to set up home in the capital. The firm, which has been in talks to provide mobile phone services on the London Underground, is now looking to increase its footprint in central London.

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