Huawei says it is hiring more scientists due to US sanctions

Huawei says it is hiring more scientists due to US sanctions

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei attends a panel discussion at the company’s headquarters in Guangdong Province, Shenzhen, China on June 17, 2019.

Song of Eli | Reuters

BEIJING – Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has said it is expanding its team of scientists, even though the company has lost revenue due to US sanctions.

It’s a stipulation that doubling down on research could help China manufacture its own technologies, now that the United States under President Joe Biden’s administration intends to compete with Beijing and the Chinese society’s move to the United States. United with semiconductor technology. Access is restricted.

According to information released on Wednesday, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei claimed in an internal meeting in early August that the company paid its extended employees on time despite pressure from the United States. Many Chinese companies often postpone their employees’ salaries or force them to quit without pay.

“Despite the US sanctions over the past two years, we haven’t changed our HR policies, and everything is working as usual, such as pay and bonus distributions, grade increases and share distributions of the company, ”Ren said in an English statement. According to said linguistic transcription seen by CNBC. “There is no chaos within the company. Instead, the company is now more cohesive than ever and has also attracted more talent. “

The telecommunications company claims to have increased the number of people by 3,000 between 2019 and the end of 2020, the start of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Huawei, more than half or 53.4% ​​of employees are in research and development.

In 2019, the administration of former President Donald Trump put Huawei on a blacklist that banned US companies from selling technology to the Chinese company, citing national security concerns. Huawei has denied such threats.

“Due to US sanctions over the past two years, we no longer want to use the best components to make the best products,” Ren said. “Instead, we use scientific and proper methods to ensure balanced traffic throughout the system and use the right components to create high quality products, which has dramatically improved our profitability.”

The fall in global smartphone sales has also affected Huawei’s business.

The company reported sales of 320.4 billion yuan ($ 49.67 billion) in the first six months of 2021, up from 454 billion yuan in the same period a year ago. The revenue for the first half of this year was also lower than the first half of 2019 and 2018 due to the pandemic and US sanctions.

The two largest business segments, consumers and carriers, saw sharp year-over-year declines in the first half of 2021. Huawei raised 6.6 billion yuan in small businesses focused on its strategy growth.

Ren remained determined to pay for the scientists – and spoke of compensation equal to an undisclosed amount for professors at China’s prestigious Tsinghua University.

“If the company had not focused on basic science and research, had engaged in close collaboration with the world’s leading scientists, or had not appreciated the people engaged in basic research during over the past decade, we would have lost a tremendous amount of theoretical, technical, and technical knowledge necessary to overcome the difficulties created by US sanctions and blocs, ”he said.

Ren’s remarks come at a time when the central government is trying to address the labor shortage in high-tech industries such as manufacturing. Beijing has ambitious plans to develop its own technology in semiconductors and quantum computing over the next decade.

“China has experienced an economic bubble, with the young elite all rushing to do things that generate quick returns with relatively little investment,” Ren said.

“China still lags far behind in research on machine tools, processing equipment and techniques, products such as instruments and counters, and materials and catalysts. What methods can we use to conduct production experiments under such conditions? It is such a difficulty. What we are facing now.

– CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.



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