Last Updated 19 Mar 2021

Huawei Suicide Scandals

Category China, Huawei, Suicide
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Huawei Suicide Scandals :Songyan Liang Harding University


Nowadays, Huawei get worldwide people’s eyes since it become the second-largest integrated provider of telecommunications equipment in the world since 2009. It is hardly to make people to believe this is true. Although Huawei is successful, four suicide scandals drive people’s attention to wonder Huawei Company management. This article is focusing on Huawei cultural background: “wolf culture” and human resource management. Huawei Suicide Scandals

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Nowadays, Huawei get worldwide people’s eyes since it become the second-largest integrated provider of telecommunications equipment in the world since 2009(Economist, 2009). It was listed in the top of Intellectual Property Organization’s 2008 ranking for international Patent applications (Economist, 2009). It is hardly to make people to believe this is true. Although Huawei is successful, four suicide scandals drive people’s attention to wonder Huawei Company management.

This article is focusing on Huawei cultural background: “wolf culture” and human resource management. Introduction Huawei Technologies Co. , Ltd. which was founded in 1987 in Shenzhen, ranked first in the 2011 top 500 Chinese private companies list in the November 8, 2011. In the famous American magazine “Fortune”, Huawei was listed in the 500 companies rankings in 2010 (Wiki, 2011). It headquarters in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, and it is an employee-owned private technology company which engages in the production and sales of telecommunications equipment. Furthermore, it is a telecommunications network solutions provider. Huawei's main businesses are exchange, transmission, wireless and data communications class telecommunications products (Wiki, 2011).

In the field of telecommunications, it can provide worldwide customers network equipment, services and solutions. Since the president Ren founded Huawei in 1987, he promoted an aggressive “wolf culture” throughout the company (Beijing Review, 2007). The “wolf culture” is a kind of struggle with a wild spirit. In the team, all employees should be greed to work. This culture can quote employee to fight and explore the endless future. Also, as a result of Ren is a veteran, he worships militarization management. He tries to cultivate employees’ never give up spirit and build an effective team.

In order to consistently create maximum value for worldwide customers, Huawei focuses on customers’ marker challenges and needs by providing great ICT solutions and services (Huawei, 2011). Ethics Background Huawei keeps a promise that it will enrich customers’ lives as possible as it can through communication. Core values are very important for a successful company. For Huawei, customers first is the most important value. Huawei believes that its success is based on customers’ success. It continuously create core value for fulfill customers’ needs and requirements. The second core value is dedication.

Through dedication, Huawei can get customers’ respect and trust. Continuous improvement is the third core value. It requires Huawei to become the best partners for worldwide customer, improve company and grow as individuals (Huawei, 2011). Fourth, openness and imitative. In order to fulfill customers’ needs, Huawei, keeping an open manner, passionately pursue customercnetric innovations. Fifth, Huawei insists that integrity is the most valuable asset for its success. It drives Huawei to be honest and keep promises. At the same time, integrity helps Huawei to win customers’ trust and respect. The last core value is teamwork.

Without team, Huawei cannot success. The president Ren said that Huawei’s success is built on successful cross-cultural collaboration, streamlined inter-departmental cooperation and efficient process. Every year Huawei will recruit a large number of graduates from colleges and universities. Most of them are lack of practical experience in software development. Therefore, Huawei develops a new training system for new employees in order to help graduates quickly adapt to the scale of software development. This training system is divided into four parts. First, process development training. Second, programming-based training.

Third, business knowledge training. Fourth, positive defense training. Besides, Huawei establishes a series of IP certifications system. In the rapidly growing trend of All-IP convergence environment, increasing numbers of people are extensively applying IP technologies. In the globalization, IP technical competence is a basic factor to improve individual employment rate and personnel’s competence. In response to customers’ needs, Huawei developed the Huawei Certifications System to help employees to assess IP expertise and develop essential skills. It provides three kinds of career certification (Huawei, 2011).

The first one is Huawei Certified Datacom Associate. The second one is Huawei Certified Datecom Professional. The last one is Huawei Certified Datecom Expert. Employees’ Suicide Scandal March 6th, 2008 at noon, a Huawei staff who worked in Shenzhen Huawei R base Sakata Department of the Central platform died after falling on the third floor cafeteria. Police announced that the jumping suicide employee had insanity disease before his death. 10 days before the suicide scandal, February 26th, Dongbing Li, who worked in Chengdu, jump from Huawei R center and died on the spot.

At 17:30 on August 11, 2007, in Changchun City, a Huawei staff, Bin Zhao, who worked in Changchun office, jumped from the 7th floor in the League of Nations communities after about 20minutes phone conversation. July 18, 2007 afternoon, only 26years old Huawei employee, Yue Zhang, hanged himself in the corridor area in Shenzhen Melin communities. He just entered into Huawei for 60 days. Before his death, he told to his parents several times and complained that he suffered endless pressure and wanted to resign.

From 2007 to 2008, as a result of four employees’ suicide in less than a year, Huawei had undoubtedly put himself in the predicament of staff stress management. Fifteen minutes after Dongbing Li’s death, Tianya forum posted a great deal of messages and photos to describe the scene. According to scene photos, some posters were Huawei employees. They carried out real-time updated on this matter. It provided on-site users the latest developments. Various QQ groups which related to media and IT industry expressed a high degree attention to it immediately.

At the same time, some on-site users described various kinds of aspects of this matter when they were in the scene. Some people believed that this suicide was result from corporate culture; some argued that whether the suicide was worth or not. In the Tianya forum, more than 2,000 on-site users participated in this investigation. Most of user contended that the basically reason for suicide was Huawei’s “wolf culture”. Huawei, once again, was brought to the cusp of public opinion. The company spokesperson explained that the company would not temporarily comment whether this suicide was related to work stress or not.

Suicide Analysis After Dongbing Li’s death, the company once again became the focus of public opinion. “Cruel”, “competitive”, “tremendous pressure”, “overtime”, “Human Resource Management”, “ethic issues” or similar words, became heated words in the IT industry. Huawei’s human resources model was the one of reasons for employees’ suicide (QQ News, 2008). According to an unnamed Huawei older employee explored, Huawei human resources management was outsourced a private company which was Human resource management (QQ News, 2008). If Huawei needed a new employee, it would contract with the human resources firstly.

According to Huawei human resources needs, the Human Resources Company would provide relevant labor force to Huawei. This model was called dispatch. Therefore, Huawei’s employees were sent to Huawei Company to work by Human Resource Company. Huawei paid compensation to the Human Resources Company, so employees get the money from the Human Resource Company. Staffs had not a direct relationship to human resource management. The Human Resource Company was in charge of labor management. This model reduced Huawei human resources management costs and avoided the risk of the employment law.

As a result of China’s labor sub-system still needs to sound, employees’ basic rights do not be protected. They face a series of issues, and they will lose their jobs at any time (QQ News, 2008). The same as the most Chinese company leaders, Huawei leaders would like to find the law loopholes and maximize the use these loopholes these law loopholes. In the China business world, the character of integrity is becoming unfamiliar gradually. Based on Huawei employees’ frequent non-normal deaths, Huawei president Ren acknowledged that they did not take some measures to prevent employees’ suicide.

He worried that growing numbers of employees were suffering depression and anxiety. When coming to corporate responsibility, Huawei should be responsible for physical and psychological safety of employees because the company was staffs’ work place and it was the place where produce stress. Some companies did well in employees’ physical and psychological safety, such as Haier, Lenovo. They would provide psychological counseling to staffs and evaluated staffs. The psychological evaluation was used to check whether staffs suffered excessive pressure, mental illness or other issues.

Another factor lead employees’ suicide was Huawei’s “wolf culture”. There is no denying that wolf culture is an advanced corporate culture. The wolf culture not only focuses on teamwork, but also is in process of the spirit of never give up and never abandon. Meanwhile, wolf culture has the courage to overcome difficulties. The wolf culture can be divided into two parts: external and internal. In addition to business can use wolf culture to deal with competitive pressure from external environment, the wolf culture play an essential role in the internal management (Baidu, 2011).

For example, wolf culture emphasizes the collaborative and discipline. The wolf culture is a sharp-edged sword. Behind the wolf culture, wolf has a deep inherent nature of ruthless (Baidu, 2011). In order to achieve the purpose, people will any unscrupulous measures. It is easily lead companies and employees to lose their culture. The wolf culture highlights the extreme relationship and emphasis on competition among people (Baidu, 2011). In the enterprise’s internal management, it is easy to form a strong rigid culture due to employees lose their humanity. The wolf culture can be the internal factor for Huawei employees’ suicide.

Employees could not endure the high competition in the workplace. The wolf culture made employees produce the mutual suspicion and no trust sense. Between employees and employers and among employees, they hold an “evil nature of human” principle. Solution After a series of suicides scandals, Huawei realized that they should intervene human resource management. In order to deal with the external pressure, Huawei tried to reduce and eliminate the external inappropriate management and environmental factors. For example, Huawei organized some entertainment programs during weekend.

Besides, Huawei tired to establish a psychological evaluation system to release staffs’ pressure. Summary Even though Huawei has become the second-largest integrated provider of telecommunications equipment in the world since 2009, four suicide scandals did not change its Huawei human resource management and wolf culture. Huawei is quite different from other international enterprises. It was founded on the Chinese culture. Also, China law system is not as perfect as the Unite States. All of these factors lead employees to enter into the suicide road.


  • Baidu (2011), wolf culture, retrieved from: http://baike. aidu. com/view/155988. htm
  • Beijing Review (2007),Tech Boss Slammed for Staff Layoffs. Vol. 50 Issue 46, p3-3, 2/3p, 1
  • Color Photograph Economist (2009),Up,up and Huawei, Vol. 392 Issue 8650, special section p13-15, 3p Huawei (2011),Vision ;
  • Mission, Retrieved from: http://www. huawei. com/en/about-huawei/corporate-info/vision-mission/index. htm QQ News (2008,Feb 27),
  • Huawei: temporarily comment whether employees’ suicides related to work stress, Retrieved from: http://news. qq. com/a/20080227/001389. htm
  • Wikipedia (2011), Huawei, Retrieved from: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Huawei
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