Tuesday 12 November 2019 4:27 pm

Huawei rewards staff with $286m in bonuses as it fights US sanctions

Huawei is set to pay its employees ¥2bn ($286m) in bonuses and double almost all October salaries as a reward for helping to fight US sanctions.

The Chinese telecoms giant has been banned from doing business with American companies amid concerns its technology could be used for spying – accusations it has denied.

Read more: UK set to delay Huawei 5G decision until after election

The firm is set to distribute the $286m packet to staff working in a team focused on minimising the impact of the sanctions through research and development, as well as finding new supply chains.

The tough sanctions have forced Huawei to reduce its reliance on international suppliers such as Qualcomm and Arm. The company has also developed its own operating system, named Harmony, after it was banned from using Google’s Android.

Huawei employs roughly 190,000 people worldwide, almost half of whom work in its research and development division.

One source told City A.M. that Huawei staff had been working round-the-clock shifts in order to counter the impact of the sanctions.

In addition, the company will also pay most employees a bonus of one month’s extra salary, according to an internal email seen by the Financial Times.

The bonuses, set to be distributed on Friday, come after Singles Day, a 24-hour e-commerce sale pioneered by Chinese retail giant Alibaba. This year’s bonanza generated a record $38bn in sales.

Huawei has so far weathered the sanctions storm, posting a revenue increase of almost 25 per cent in the third quarter, though analysts have questioned whether the company is yet to feel the full effect of the ban.

Nevertheless, founder Ren Zhengfei has played down the impact of US measures and has insisted his firm can continue to grow its smartphone sales, boosted by strong trading in its home market.

Read more: Huawei posts revenue rise as US crackdown fails to halt growth

The UK government last month delayed its decision on whether to ban Huawei products from telecoms infrastructure until after the General Election in December. A decision was originally due in the spring.

While no official verdict has been given, a national security leak in April suggested the UK will allow Huawei to build non-core parts of the country’s 5G network, and all four major mobile providers have now launched their networks using the Chinese firm’s kit.

Main image credit: Getty