Huawei is reportedly paying 20,000 employees $286 million as a reward for counteracting trade sanctions

Ren Zhengfei closeupHuawei CEO Ren Zhengfei.REUTERS/Aly Song

  • Huawei is reportedly rewarding employees who are strengthening the company in the US-China trade war.
  • According to a report in the Financial Times, the Chinese telecoms giant will pay out $286 million in bonuses and double its employees' October salaries for helping the firm reduce the impact of the sanctions.
  • According to the FT, these employees have been helping reduce Huawei's reliance on foreign partners through research and development, and finding new supply chains, essentially helping the firm stand on its own.
  • Huawei has long been viewed as an adversary by the the Trump administration, which believes it could serve as a vehicle for Chinese spying on the US.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Huawei is reportedly rewarding its employees with lavish bonuses for helping counteract the negative effects of US trade sanctions.

According to a report in the Financial Times, the Chinese telecoms giant will pay out two billion yuan ($286 million) in bonuses to staff and double their October salaries for helping it circumvent the sanctions.

The FT report cites four unnamed Huawei sources, who say the cash will go to employees working in a team essentially tasked with reducing the Chinese firm's reliance on foreign suppliers. These employees were tasked with finding new supply chains and research and development. The bonus is reportedly being shared among a maximum of 20,000 staff, which would work out as a minimum of $14,000 each.

Huawei Harmony OS

Huawei has been at the center of the US-China trade war since May, when it was placed on a trade blacklist that prevented US firms from selling to it without a license.

The months of uncertainty have taken their toll on Huawei. The firm hinted that the trade war had impacted smartphone sales. And the blacklist has meant Huawei can't run its new phones with Google's mobile services, in a major blow. The firm has been developing its own operating system, HarmonyOS, but one senior Huawei executive warned it may not be ready for years.

Using bonuses as an incentive in the ongoing tech cold war is not a new tactic from Huawei, either. At the beginning of the year, the US Department of Justice accused Huawei of offering bonuses to its employees for stealing confidential information from outside companies, including the German telecoms firm T-Mobile. Huawei has denied the charges.

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