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Huawei to reward employees with 2 billion yuan bonus for helping it weather impact of US technology ban

Li Tao

Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecoms giant that has been barred from buying US technology, has allocated a special cash award worth 2 billion yuan (US$285.4 million) to distribute among employees who have contributed to its contingency plan to help minimise the impact of the ban, according to people familiar with the matter.

While those who will benefit have not been identified, it is believed people in research and development roles, especially at Huawei’s chip arm HiSilicon that have come up with alternatives to US components, and those developing the company’s in-house operating systems, will most likely share in the award, according to employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as the information is private.

Besides the 2 billion yuan shared bonus, each Huawei employee will receive double their salary this month in appreciation of efforts to help the company get through the hard times, the people said.

Huawei declined to comment on the bonus scheme.

Huawei, which employs 190,000 people and is the world’s largest telecommunications equipment vendor, will deposit the double salary into employee bank accounts on November 15.

On Sunday Shenzhen-based Huawei marked 180 days since it was put on a US trade blacklist due to US national security concerns, which prompted company wide efforts to stabilise operations that were cut off from certain US technologies, including Google’s Android OS.

Huawei defies the odds after 180 days on US trade blacklist

After the ban was imposed in mid-May, HiSilicon president Teresa He Tingbo said in a letter to employees that Huawei's chip arm had for many years devoted significant resources to a backup plan that would ensure the survival of the group if it was cut off from US technology.

The privately-held company last month reported revenue of 610.8 billion yuan (US$86.8 billion) for the nine months ended September 30, saying it had secured more than 60 commercial 5G network supply contracts. Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei earlier indicated the company was on track to surpass US$100 billion in sales this year, around the same level as last year, despite the impact of the ban.

In September, Huawei announced that it has started making 5G base stations without US components, but did not provide details.

Huawei has a history of rewarding its employees with cash bonuses, especially at times of high revenue growth, said the sources.

Last week, Ren also called on hi-tech suppliers in Europe and Japan to seize the opportunity to develop alternative technologies given the current circumstances, but he did not name any specific companies.

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