Ren Zhengfei, a former military engineer in the People's Liberation Army, founded Huawei in 1987. At the time of its establishment, Huawei focused on manufacturing phone switches, but has since expanded to include building telecommunications networks, providing operational and consulting services and equipment to enterprises inside and outside of China, and manufacturing communications devices for the consumer market. Huawei had over 170,000 employees as of September 2017[update], around 76,000 of them engaged in research and development (R&D). It has 21 R&D institutes in countries including China, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Finland, France, Belgium, (Germany), Colombia, Sweden, Ireland, India, Russia, Israel, and Turkey. As of 2017[update] the company invested US$13. 8 billion in R&D, up from US$5 billion in 2013.