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‘No one owns Huawei but its employees’

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By Jiang Xisheng

Sweden’s telecom regulator, PTS, recently excluded the country’s operators from using Huawei equipment in their 5G networks, justifying the action by saying that any vendor based in China posed an automatic threat to Swedish national security.

Such misconceptions could prevent Swedish households and businesses from enjoying the benefits of Huawei’s innovation. Unfortunately, they are reinforced by the press. For example, an editorial column published in Dagens Industri on November 10 suggests, “China should open Huawei for foreign ownership” . This recommendation, while undoubtedly well-intentioned, displays a profound misunderstanding of how our company is structured and managed.

Huawei was founded in 1987, and I joined in Huawei in 1989. Back then banks were reluctant to lend money to small start-up companies. Huawei had to raise capital by selling shares to employees, an arrangement that continues to this day. Employees buy shares with their own money, and receive annual dividends based on the number of shares they hold. They also elect members to form a Representatives’ Commission on a one-vote-per-share basis. The Commission elects the company’s Board of Directors. Such a profit- and risk-sharing system provides Huawei with the funds it needs for long-term growth and lays the foundations for its governance and management.

Being privately held frees Huawei from the short-term pressures faced by publicly listed companies, whose shareholders expect them to meet quarterly earnings targets. Liberated from such external pressures, Huawei can maintain its long-term focus on research and development, while shareholding employees can reap higher rewards.

Currently, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei holds about 1% stake of Huawei; the rest is held by Huawei’s union, the platform through which employees own the company. It is common and legitimate for companies in China to set up trade unions to serve as their shareholding platforms. Although the media likes to describe this arrangement as opaque, it is actually not so different from what one finds at employee-owned companies elsewhere in the world, including John Lewis Partnership (a department store group in the UK) and Essilor (a French-based international ophthalmic optics company).

In fact, our ownership structure is embraced by many Swedish companies today. Last year’s European company Survey, shows 11% of all companies in Sweden’s private sector have employee share ownership schemes – more than double the European average. Perhaps the model appeals to Sweden’s egalitarian sensibilities: Employees are paid differently based on the work they do, but there is a transparent profit-sharing mechanism in place. People feel empowered, care about the quality of their work, and continually think about ways to improve the business. Some European experts have concluded that Huawei is implementing “employee capitalism.”

Detractors allege that we became a global leader through government support. In fact, the company has succeeded for the opposite reason: we operate independently and follow the logic of business, not politics. From its inception in 1987 until the early 2000s, Huawei competed with Chinese state-owned enterprises, many of which later shrank to insignificance or disappeared completely. This result should not surprise capitalists, who understand that in most cases, state-owned or -controlled companies tend to lose their competitiveness due to bureaucracy and low efficiency. This is particularly true in the high-tech industry. Why has China’s tech industry developed so fast and so well? Perhaps in part because, since the 1980s, China has opened its market to, and provided a level playing field for, companies such as Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, and other foreign companies.

The PTS statement reminded me of China’s period of political turmoil in the 1960s and 1970s. Because my family were classified as landowners, I almost missed the chance to attend university. I hope the PTS can perform an objective, fair, and fact-based assessment, and make decisions that will benefit the whole of Sweden. Huawei’s door is always open for Swedish politicians, researchers, journalists, and others to visit company facilities and its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Room, and exchange ideas about the system the company has built over the past three decades.

In the meantime, the facts remain unchanged: No government entity dictates Huawei’s business or investment decisions, and no one owns Huawei but Huawei’s employees.

Jiang Xisheng is Chief Secretary of the Board at Huawei.



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SLT-MOBITEL AkazaLMS enables corporate employee capability development

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As SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT solutions service provider, continues to play a pivotal role in driving Sri Lanka’s digital transformation through its Cloud-managed offering, SLT-Mobitel AkazaLMS takes centre-stage as the nation’s leading Learning Management System (LMS). SLT-Mobitel AkazaLMS offers a unique, locally developed, comprehensive enterprise learning solution designed to cater to diverse training needs without compromising on quality.

Commenting on the initiative Chief Enterprise & Wholesale Officer of SLT, Lakmal Jayasinghe said “Especially in today’s competitive environment where human capital is more important than ever, companies need to create a learning strategy that aligns to robust curricula, employing relevant and available learning methods and technology. Addressing this need, SLT-Mobitel AkazaLMS Cloud is an enterprise e-learning solution hosted in Sri Lanka on the top of a private cloud, providing corporate and institutional customers the ability to deliver their own learning material to their users with zero cost infrastructure. With greater convenience and without additional IT resources, customers have access to their own training needs via a simple web browser”.

Empowering corporates and educational institutes, SLT-Mobitel AkazaLMS is a comprehensive locally developed platform, containing a self-portal where the user develops their own e-learning and purchase it as a SaaS product. Especially during these challenging times, when classroom lectures are not possible and distance learning methods vital, the SLT-Mobitel AkazaLMS facilitates exams, assignments, quizzes, etc. tailor-made and customised for corporates and educational institutes targeting their own specific needs.

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LIOC shows stability in earnings and margins compared to volatility during previous years

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First Capital expects stability in LIOC earnings and margins ahead, compared to the significant volatility witnessed during the previous years.

“With the new pricing formula, we expect a stable outlook for LIOC which is currently trading at a TTM PER of 7.5x on FY22 earnings while also trading at a PBV of 1.5x”, they said.

“The government’s implementation of the new fuel pricing formula on 24th May 22 includes all costs incurred in importing, unloading, distributing to the stations and taxes. With that, fuel prices will be revised on a monthly basis, and if necessary, it will be reviewed every two weeks. Accordingly, the next price revision was scheduled for 24th Jun 22. Considering the price revision, In addition to that, Sri Lanka’s Cabinet has approved a bill to impose a 2.5% tax on companies with an annual turnover of LKR 120.0Mn, which will only have a marginal effect on company margins.”

“With regards to investment in joint venture, LIOC has invested in Trinco Petroleum Terminal (Pvt) Ltd (TPT) in Jan-22 and acquired 49% of the stake with CPC which holds 51% of the ownership of TPT in order to develop 61 tanks at the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm and allied facilities in the Upper Tank Farm of the China Bay Oil Tank Farm. Also, LIOC has entered into a Lease of State Land with the Government of Sri Lanka for a term of fifty years to develop the Lower Tank Farm of the China Bay Oil Tank Farm,” First Capital said.

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Apprenticeship programme in partnership with Hatch MakerStudio and Vocational Training Authority

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From left: : Krishantha Pathiraja, Chairman at Palmyrah Development Board, Florian Manderschied, Head Maker at Hatch MakerStudio, Brindha Selvadurai, CEO and Co- Founder, Hatch, Eranga Basnayake, CEO and Chairman of Vocational Training Authority, Mahesh Ariyarathne, Vice Chairman of VTA

The next generation of Sri Lanka’s industry workforce is currently studying at Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutes (​​TVET) all over the country. Since the manufacturing technology is under permanent development, the requirements for TVET graduates have also evolved. In order to address the industry’s needs for skilled and competent workers, the Vocational Training Authority and Hatch MakerStudio have joined forces to pilot an innovative apprenticeship programme.

The apprenticeship programme is designed for students in the field of mechatronics, robotics, automation and CNC-technologies and is focusing on the upskill, entrepreneurial mindset and problem solving capabilities. Together with industry partners, the selected apprentices will undergo a one month training programme at Hatch MakerStudio before being placed in the companies. The programme comprises of:

Product development training

Software and rapid prototyping training

Problem solving and design thinking exercises

During the course of the apprenticeship, Hatch MakerStudio will provide supervision and support for both the apprentices and companies, in order to ensure effective skills development and utilization of working power. Students with their own specific product ideas and business models can choose Hatch MakerStudio as their place of apprenticeship.

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