Huawei reportedly plans to recruit more talent amid sanctions

Embattled Chinese telecommunications and consumer electronic manufacturer Huawei is planning to recruit more global talent and continue to fund research and development programmes, according to a report from the South China Morning Post

The report cited an internal speech made by founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei in August, who said Huawei was in a critical period of strategic survival and development. To cope with the situation, the company must recruit talent who are more capable than current employees, offer them more competitive packages than those offered by local talent markets, and align with international talent markets. He said these were necessary to attract the best talent. 

Amid the difficulties since the US has imposed trade sanctions since 2019 that have cut access to major technologies, Ren said Huawei still had not changed its policies on salary and bonus distribution, job grade raises and company share distribution. He also assured researchers that Huawei will continue to fund various research and development programmes, although some of which could take many years before the company sees these efforts pay off.

When it comes to its integrated circuit design unit HiSilicon, Ren said the subsidiary will continue to develop but most of Huawei's employees will just "provide a steady flow of food" to those who are doing the development. The report said HiSilicon is responsible for designing the processors that power Huawei‘s smartphones and its 5G base stations. However, tightened sanctions from the US have barred HiSilicon from outsourcing production of its integrated circuit designs to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. 

Huawei's half revenue this year was down 29.4% from a year ago to only ¥320 billion amid US trade sanctions on essential hardware components and software that affected sales at its smartphone and 5G network equipment businesses. To survive, Huawei has built up other businesses and made efforts to stay relevant in the smartphone industry as competition from other major Chinese Android handset vendors, including Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, has been stiff. Initiatives include expanding cloud services operations in APAC, helping domestic enterprises cut their carbon footprint, and supplying more 5G base stations and core network gear to China’s major telecoms operators, to name a few. 

In August, Huawei said it will invest iUS$100 million in startup support, which will go towards its Spark Programme in the Asia Pacific region, aiming to build a sustainable startup ecosystem for the region over the next three years. At the inaugural HUAWEI CLOUD Spark Founders Summit which took place simultaneously in Singapore and Hong Kong, Huawei said the programme would focus its efforts on developing four startup hubs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam in addition to its Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand ops. The Spark programme’s overarching aim is to recruit a total of 1,000 startups into the accelerator programme and shape 100 of them into scaleups.

In 2020, HUAWEI Ads was also introduced to the APAC market. It leverages the synergies between Huawei’s devices, apps and open capabilities to help advertisers reach out to more than 730 million global potential customers on its mobile ecosystem. “Built upon Huawei’s established mobile ecosystem, we are leveraging our technical capabilities and local market expertise to develop a range of adtech and toolsets for brands and advertising agencies to strategise, set-up and manage ad campaigns, then successfully amplify their brand messages across the Huawei ecosystem,” Shane Shan, the director of Huawei APAC Consumer Cloud Service, said.

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