Huawei Bosses Slap Down 'Immature' Staff Whining About Café Food

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
11/4/2019

Huawei might be at the center of a global storm over its alleged security risks, but this week bosses have more pressing issues.

Like slapping down R&D staff complaining about the food in the company caff.

In a stinging memo leaked online, current acting CEO Xu Zhijun has suggested the senior staff who filed the complaints should head to the kitchen "to take their own advice."

Xu said the company's 76,000 R&D employees were "not heaven's favored sons and you cannot ask other departments to over-service you."

Comparing them to the miserly titular character in an Honoré de Balzac novel, he wrote: "These Eugénie Grandet kind of people have no future in the company."

He added: "The employees are already adults. They should be able to live on their own. They can choose not to buy the company's administrative services."

Xu was responding to an unknown number of complaints from researchers that "the food is poor, the prices are high, and the service isn't good" in the company cafeterias, the Sina.com website reported.

The complaints seem to arise from staff living on Huawei campuses, in China and abroad, and paying on average RMB350 ($49.79) a month for their meals.

Xu said research personnel were an important factor in Huawei's success, "but not the only factor."

He said those senior staff members filing petitions over the issue "are immature. They can draw lots [to choose who will] help cook for three months and take their own advice, and return to their R&D post only after they have done so."

He said Huawei's approach was to work hard, increase income and improve our lives.

"At the same time, we must also understand that the people who serve you must also live. It is not that you live alone, regardless of others. Our R&D staff must learn to be grateful and thank the people who serve you."


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Xu revealed that staff in the heavily male research department are apparently popular with the ladies -- and then threw a little more shade.

Some women "blindly like our R&D staff," but do these women really know what these guys are like, he wrote.

"I ask would you be happy if you lived with people who are so reluctant to spend on their own food expenses? Can you stand those kinds of people who are so picky about the services [performed by] others?"

CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei didn't hold back either: "No employee should use logistics services as a place to vent. Employees who are really uncomfortable should seek psychological counselling, or go to [popular forum] Tianya.com."

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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