20 April 2023 – Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, has been making headlines in recent years for its role in the development and implementation of 5G technology. However, the company’s reputation as an employer has also come under scrutiny, with reports of poor working conditions, labor abuses, discrimination, and a lack of support for local vendors and talents.

One of the most concerning allegations against Huawei is its treatment of its employees. According to a report by China Labor Watch, a non-profit organization focused on workers’ rights in China, Huawei has been accused of exploiting its workers, violating labor laws, and failing to provide safe and healthy working conditions. The report found that Huawei’s employees are subject to excessive overtime, low wages, and dangerous working conditions. In addition to these concerns, Huawei has also been criticized for its discriminatory hiring practices. The company has been accused of favoring Chinese nationals over foreign workers, particularly in senior management positions. This has led to accusations of xenophobia and racism within the company. 

In South Africa, Huawei is already facing a lawsuit for breaking rules on hiring local workers and to order the company to amend its practices, as per the labour department’s statement. About 90% of the company’s employees were foreign nationals, violating “employment equity” regulations, which impose a limit of 40%, the department added, citing a 2020 audit. 

Closer to home, it was reported that Huawei selectively employs Chinese nationals and Chinese-speaking locals only, denying any opportunity to an equally qualified Bumiputra candidate across all levels of management. A quick search on LinkedIn reveals that almost all of the Firm’s top executives in Malaysia are not from Malaysia.

Moreover, Huawei has also been accused of neglecting to support local vendors and failing to develop local talent. Reports suggest that the company often prefers to work with international (Chinese) vendors and suppliers, rather than developing and growing local companies and SMEs. Huawei’s operating companies have also been accused of shying away from hiring local talents, instead opting for Chinese nationals or expatriates, which limits opportunities for local professionals and contributes to brain drain.

The impact of Huawei’s poor reputation as an employer goes beyond its ability to attract talent. It also has wider implications for the company’s brand image and reputation, particularly in Western markets where labor standards are closely monitored and where companies are increasingly held accountable for their social and environmental impacts.

However, Huawei has denied these allegations, stating that it adheres to all labor laws and regulations and that it values the contributions of all its employees. Nevertheless, the company’s reputation as an employer has suffered as a result of these reports, with many potential employees wary of joining the company due to its reputation. Similar cases have been reported with other Chinese firms, with private-funded mega projects globally, expanding as part of the Belt Road Initiative – and countries need to be aware and certain of the repercussions of such actions on its people, culture as well as development.

Subscribe To Our Telegram Channel :
The Coverage Malaysia