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Why Cisco wants to invest $1 billion into the United Kingdom

Cisco CEO John Chambers at Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2014Cisco CEO John Chambers at Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2014
Cisco CEO John Chambers at the 2014 Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo.Photograph by Stuart Isett — Fortune Brainstorm Tech

Cisco said Thursday that it plans on investing $1 billion into the United Kingdom over the next 3-to-5 years to boost the country’s technology sector, especially the burgeoning Internet of things market.

The new investment comes four years after the networking titan pledged $500 million to the UK in a similar endeavor.

Cisco will use part of its new investment to scout for potential acquisitions in the UK and has experience purchasing UK-based companies. In 2013 it bought out Ubiquisys, a maker of a type of cellular technology known as a small cell, for $310 million. In 2012, Cisco shelled out $5 billion for a British company called NDS Group that specialized in software for cable television.

UK-based startups working on technology focusing on the Internet of things stand to benefit with Cisco (CSCO) pledging to fork over $150 million to spur growth. The company was vague on what types of Internet-of-things companies or specific technologies it wants to target in the region, but it did mention that “smart city development” is an area it wants to invest in.

This falls in line with the company’s big push to get more municipalities to buy its Cisco-branded Internet-of-things collection of software and hardware, which IBM, Oracle, and Hewlett-Packard all have competing products.

The $1 billion UK investment comes less than month after Cisco announced its plans to invest $10 billion in China. Whereas relations between Cisco and the UK seem to be going smoothly with UK Prime Minister David Cameron singing the company’s praises in the announcement, Cisco’s relationship with China is a bit more rocky.

Cisco has seen weakening sales in China ever since the country made it increasingly difficult for U.S.-based hardware manufactures to import and sell gear in the country in light of allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency installed so-called “backdoors” in networking gear (which Cisco sells).

The UK and China aren’t the only countries that have been promised Cisco dollars recently.

Earlier this week, the company said it would dedicate $100 million to French startups, with a networking company called 6WIND receiving an undisclosed portion of that investment.

These recent investments in multiple countries come just a few weeks before Cisco’s long-time CEO John Chambers will step down, handing the top spot to Chuck Robbins.

Chambers has been busy travelling the world and making the investments while also gobbling up several companies, including MaintenanceNet and OpenDNS, during the final days of his reign.

With Chambers leaving the company on July 26, there’s still a few more weeks for him to squeeze in more acquisitions and billion dollar investments before his time as CEO is up.

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