Ex-Huawei staff held over ‘leaks’

China Daily (Canada) - - VIEWS - By MASI masi@chinadaily.com.cn

Six ar­rested over al­leged dis­clo­sure of se­crets to ri­vals

Six for­mer em­ploy­ees of Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd, the world’s third-largest smart­phone maker, have been ar­rested by po­lice, for al­legedly leak­ing com­mer­cial se­crets to ri­vals.

News por­tal sina.com re­ported onWed­nes­day that an in­ter­nal let­ter is­sued by Huawei’s con­sumer unit, which in­cludes its smart­phone busi­ness, said that the six, chiefly engi­neers and smart­phone de­sign­ers, had been ar­rested.

The in­ci­dent came as the Shen­zhen­based com­pany is en­gaged in a fierce bat­tle for mar­ket dom­i­nance with play­ers such as Oppo Elec­tron­ics Corp and Group Ltd.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port by Sina, the six were sus­pected of leak­ing com­mer­cial se­crets to Cool­pad and its largest share­holder LeEco af­ter some of them left Huawei to join the two com­pa­nies.

Huawei con­firmed to China Daily that six of its for­mer em­ploy­ees were ar­rested, but said the case has noth­ing to do with LeEco and Cool­Pad. LeEco also de­nied the re­port.

Xiang Li­gang, a smart­phone ex­pert and CEO of the tele­coms in­dus­try web­site cc­time.com, said the dis­pute Cool­pad un­der­lines once again that China is the world’s most com­pet­i­tive smart­phone mar­ket, with the largest num­ber of hand­set ven­dors.

“For any new player which wants to scale up rapidly, such as LeEco, it has no other choice but to poach ex­pe­ri­enced tal­ent from es­tab­lished com­pa­nies,” Xiang added.

In 2016, Huawei shipped 139 mil­lion hand­sets, up 29 per­cent year-on-year, In­ter­na­tional Data Corp said.

Huawei’s stel­lar growth has lured ri­vals to vie for its tal­ent with hand­some salary pack­ages. Last year, a string of ex-Huawei se­nior ex­ec­u­tives joined LeEco and Cool­Pad.

Liu Jiangfeng, the for­mer pres­i­dent of Huawei’s smart­phone sub-brand Honor, took the helm of Cool­Pad’s smart­phone busi­ness in Au­gust.

Xu Xin­quan, for­mer pres­i­dent ofHuawei’s e-com­merce busi­ness, joined LeEco last year.

Fu Liang, an in­de­pen­dent tele­com an­a­lyst, said the case also high­lighted that em­ploy­ees should raise their le­gal aware­ness, at­tach­ing high im­por­tance to em­ploy­ers’ con­fi­den­tial­ity agree­ments.

“It is cru­cial to pro­tect in­tel­lec­tual prop­er­ties,” Fu said.

Last month, Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, said at an in­ter­nal meet­ing that the com­pany would step up staff man­age­ment and crack down on cor­rup­tion and bribery.

Ren Zhengfei, CEOof Huawei

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