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China tech

Huawei dangles $300,000 starting pay to draw 'young geniuses'

Executive-level salaries for new engineers aims to accelerate R&D drive

Huawei Technologies looks to develop its own chips and software as U.S. sanctions threaten its current supply.   © Reuters

GUANGZHOU -- Top Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies is offering salaries of up to 2 million yuan ($291,000) per year to new graduates with advanced degrees, as it bolsters in-house research and development in the face of U.S. sanctions.

In an internal memo, Huawei revealed it had hired eight graduates with doctorates in such fields as artificial intelligence and robotics this year, paying salaries of between 900,000 yuan and 2.01 million yuan.

This is on par with what a major technology company might pay a vice president, according to Chinese media.

Well-educated graduates with specialized skills can help accelerate research and development of chips, software and other technology that Huawei plans to move in-house, as a U.S. ban on doing business with the company cuts off key links in its supply chain.

Huawei aims to hire up to 30 such talented young employees this year, with the target surging to around 300 in 2020.

"We are recruiting young geniuses from around the world" who can "revitalize our organization," CEO Ren Zhengfei told a meeting of Huawei executives in June.

The high pay is a bid to not only attract highly educated workers, but also keep them from leaving.

Roughly 80,000 of Huawei's 190,000 or so employees are involved in R&D, hence its focus on recruiting in scientific fields. But more than 40% of the doctorate-holding graduates the company hired in 2014 had departed by the end of 2018.

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