SHENZHEN: On a scorching summer season morning at Huawei’s new European-themed campus outdoors of Shenzhen, a person resembling a youthful model of firm founder Ren Zhengfei was dressing down two subordinates.
“Use your mind to assume!” he scolded, apparently dissatisfied at how they had been dealing with guests on the lavish facility, which options replicas of European cities and monuments.
The person was Steven Ren Shulu, 63, the youthful brother of Ren Zhengfei, who joined Huawei in 1992 and is now the supervisor of the board. The encounter was witnessed by likelihood by a Reuter’s reporter throughout a go to to the campus in August.
Huawei could also be one in all China’s most international firms – with greater than 180,000 workers in additional than 170 nations operating a telecommunications and know-how enterprise that generates greater than $100 billion yearly – but it surely nonetheless has components of a household agency, with members of Ren’s household enjoying key roles in internet of aspect companies, lots of which don’t have anything to do with telecoms.
Usually these aspect companies, which vary from lodges to meals and wine, catering primarily to the Huawei workers and prospects.
The function of Ren’s daughter, chief monetary officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, is extensively recognized, particularly within the wake of her arrest in Canada final December on US prices regarding sanctions violations.
Far much less seen are Ren’s brother, son, and spouse, however all play large roles inside Huawei’s subsidiaries.
The 74-year previous Zhengfei Ren formally owns simply 1.14 per cent of privately-held Huawei however retains absolute authority, in keeping with insiders on the agency, the place he holds veto energy and the place his speeches are repeatedly circulated to all employees for examine.
HOUSING AND HOTELS
With the title of Chief Logistics Officer at Huawei, youthful brother Steven Ren’s broad transient consists of overseeing building, catering, and hospitality.
That features the ultimate section of the lavish new Songshan Lake campus in Dongguan, with places of work for 25,000 workers, in addition to a brand new house block for workers close to Huawei’s Shenzhen headquarters that’s anticipated to be constructed by 2023.
Huawei declined to reply questions on the scope of its housing advantages for workers.
It isn’t unusual for big Chinese state-owned or personal companies to construct infrastructure together with housing for workers and to offer hospitality for visiting potential prospects, mentioned Colin Hawes, an affiliate professor on the College of Expertise, Sydney who specialises in Chinese language company governance.
Ren Zhengfei’s son, 44-year-old Ren Ping, is now the boss of Shenzhen Smartcom Enterprise Co. Limited, a Huawei subsidiary whose holdings embrace greater than a dozen lodges and serviced residences in China, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. The lodges additionally largely serve Huawei workers and shoppers, although some – such because the Amber Home in Nanjing – could be booked by anybody on-line.
On the 5-star Amber Prime Resort in Dongguan, subsequent to Huawei’s new campus, the trendy rooms include Huawei AI audio system in addition to a particular TV channel with clips of Huawei executives’ current speeches.
Huawei declined to make Steven Ren, Ren Ping or one other Smartcom government out there for interview.
WINING AND DINING
Ren Ping can also be president of Shanghai Mossel, a subsidiary the place Ren Zhengfei’s spouse additionally works, in keeping with Chinese firm registration data. Named after Mossel Bay in South Africa, the corporate sells imported meals from around the globe together with Huawei-labeled wines, premium beef, and high quality rice, in keeping with its web site.
Most of its patrons are inside, although Mossel’s e-commerce platform and brick-and-mortar shops on Huawei campuses are open to outdoors prospects too. Huawei didn’t reply to questions on why it arrange Mossel in 2010, although a narrative within the Guardian newspaper in April quoted a spokesman saying it arose after the corporate took part-payment within the type of wine and beef from an Argentinian buyer looking for to keep away from foreign money controls.
Some workers instructed Reuters they discovered the Mossel items too dear, although others mentioned they appreciated its high-quality collection of wines and meals from around the globe – and that the Huawei emblem on the merchandise makes for good company items.
Huawei’s leisure journey subsidiary, HWTrip.com, one other a part of Ren Ping’s Smartcom enterprise, seems to have fallen sufferer to the US authorities’s marketing campaign in opposition to Huawei: a discover on its web site says it closed in August as Huawei wanted to “concentrate on its foremost channel throughout warfare instances”.
Hawes mentioned Huawei’s household connections had been nothing out of the bizarre for personal companies in China.
“It’s partly a difficulty of whom the CEO can belief, and in addition a Confucian-style sense of obligation to share one’s success with relations,” Hawes mentioned.
Ren has said on a number of events that none of his relations, together with Sabrina Meng, would succeed him as Huawei CEO.
Interviews with almost a dozen workers turned up no indicators of resentment in regards to the function of Ren’s relations.
“I don’t care what the boss’s household does so long as I get my pay and dividends,” mentioned one employee-shareholder who declined to be named.