Huawei to splash $286M in bonuses on staff for weathering U.S. trade war

Huawei said on Tuesday that it would give its employees $286 million in cash bonuses as a reward for weathering the U.S. trade blacklisting.

Huawei, which is the world's largest telecom equipment provider and second-largest smartphone vendor, will also double the pay this month for almost all of its 190,000 workers, according to a story by Reuters.

According to an internal memo obtained by the Nikkei Asian Review, the bonuses will be distributed to "all active employees of Huawei and its direct subsidiaries with a performance rating above C and no information security violations." The bonus will be equal to each staff member's base October salary.

"In 2019, the company and all employees were, and are, facing extraordinarily external challenges," according to the staff memo obtained by the Nikkei Asian Review. "Upon approval by the company's president, a special dedication award will be paid."

According to a story by Forbes, additional bonuses will be paid to supply chain and R&D staffs that are hard at work shifting the company's supply chains away from the U.S. While Huawei's employees no doubt appreciate the extra income, the bonuses also served notice to the Trump administration that the company is still thriving.

In May, the U.S. added Huawei to its Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List, which barred Huawei from doing business with American companies. While the Trump administration and others have maintained that Huawei installs "back doors" in its telecom gear to gather info for the Chinese government, Huawei has said that's not the case.

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In August, the Trump administration extended the length of the license that allows Huawei to do business with its U.S. customers. Using an executive order, President Donald Trump had put a 90-day ban on Huawei's gear back in May, which was set to expire August. Instead, citing the need for smaller telcos to find alternative vendors to Huawei, the U.S. Department of Commerce granted a 90-day extension that allows Huawei to continue doing some business in the U.S.

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According to third quarter research by MTN Consulting, Huawei's telecom market share in the quarter was roughly the sum of both Ericsson and Nokia, which are its two closest rivals. Huawei’s market share wasn't much higher than three years ago, and was flat relative to the third quarters in 2018 and 2017, according to MTN Consulting.

Driven largely by its smartphone sales, Huawei reported a 27% increase in its third-quarter revenue last month.