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China: Huawei comes under fire over employee detained for eight months after demanding severance pay

Author: The Guardian (UK), Published on: 4 December 2019

“Huawei under fire in China over employee detained for eight months”, 2 December 2019

The Chinese telecom corporation Huawei has come under fire in its own country as members of the public rallied behind a former employee detained for eight months after demanding severance pay from the company.

… Li Hongyuan, a Huawei employee of 13 years, was arrested on extortion charges and detained until… he was released because of “unclear criminal facts and insufficient evidence”, according to court documents posted online by Li.

According to Li… he had negotiated termination compensation of about 300,000 yuan (£33,000), which was transferred to him through a secretary’s private account. The case has caused a wave of criticism over the company’s treatment of a longtime employee and questions about Chinese law punishing someone advocating for their employee rights. Huawei has not confirmed the lawsuit nor commented on the allegations.

On the social network Weibo, users were posting the numbers “985, 996, 035, 251, 404” a riff on the “996” culture of Chinese technology companies of working 9am to 9pm, six days a week.

In the case of Li, the numbers refer to graduating from one of the country’s 985 top universities, being fired at the age of 35, detained for 251 days, and seeing all related reports censored. The code was trending on Weibo…

In an open letter addressed to the Huawei founder, Ren Zhengfei, Li wrote: “It wasn’t my intention to cause so much attention online and I am sorry about it. Also, I don’t regret my choice for speaking the truth. There is always a cost to being honest.”…

The criticism from within China is rare for Huawei, one of the most popular brands within the country and a symbol of national pride…

Read the full post here

Related companies: Huawei Technologies