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Huawei Hands Out Billions in Bonuses for Staff Response to Sanctions

By Dave Yin / Nov 13, 2019 03:59 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Huawei Technologies is handing out bonuses to hundreds of thousands of staff for their response to U.S. sanctions, multiple company employees told Caixin.

The Chinese telecom giant said in an internal memo Monday that it would issue two monetary rewards that are unrelated to regular bonuses, the people said.

First, Huawei will award an additional month’s salary to its staff, whose numbers totaled 194,000 worldwide as of June, according to the transcript of a Globe and Mail interview with Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei. The total rewards could amount to billions of yuan.

In addition, the company is earmarking 2 billion yuan ($285 million) for employees who helped with “business continuity,” according to the people.

The memo did not detail how the 2 billion yuan would be distributed and to whom, but one longtime Huawei employee told Caixin that those involved with “business continuity” most likely include workers in telecom equipment, smart devices, and several other product departments, totaling 50,000 to 90,000 employees.

The compensation marks an about-face for the company after Ren warned in August in an internal memo that the company faced a “live or die moment” and that underused employees who failed to make themselves useful faced salary cuts or layoffs.

At the time, the company expected to ship 60 million fewer phones in 2019 as a result of being blacklisted by the U.S. government, which in May barred the company and 68 of its subsidiaries from buying U.S. components and software.

Following the ban, the company mandated overtime, switching to 24-hour workdays spread across shifts for as many as 10,000 developers, who worked to cut the company’s reliance on American companies, Bloomberg reported.

But while Huawei’s smartphone sales growth in overseas markets slowed following the sanctions, the company was buoyed by a spike in demand in its domestic market, leaving it with an overall shipment increase of 29% in the third quarter.

Ren has since revised down estimates of the financial impact that Washington’s sanctions would have on the company to less than $10 billion.

Contact reporter Dave Yin (davidyin@caixin.com)

Related: Huawei Forecasts Smartphone Growth Despite Trump Blacklisting

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