Updated Chinese telecom giant Huawei has issued a mandatory month-long furlough to some of its Russia-based staff and suspended new orders, according to Russian media.
“There are no orders, so why should people go to the office – in a month the vacation will either be extended, or employees will be returned from it,” an anonymous source told Forbes Russia.
The business mag also reported that Chinese nationals working for Huawei Russia are still going to the office.
Forbes’s account agrees with a report in Russian publication Izvestia which claimed that Huawei ceased new contracts to supply Russian mobile operators in early April. The news outlet credited the freezing of sales to US sanctions that prohibit export of certain American technology to Russia. The bans on such exports were imposed on Russia as punishment for its illegal invasion of Ukraine.
US authorities have warned Chinese companies not to help Russia evade sanctions and reminded the world that it can also impose “secondary sanctions” on Chinese companies that flout the sanctions imposed on Russia.
Huawei knows how much US sanctions can hurt: they’ve already damaged its smartphone business and made its server business so difficult it had to be offloaded.
If Huawei has furloughed staff, El Reg suggests its HR team is among those taking an unplanned holiday – because the company is still advertising for workers in Moscow. At the time of writing, LinkedIn lists a dozen jobs in the Russian capital – among them a gig as OS Kernel Chief Architect on Huawei’s IoT operating system, pre-sales professionals, and even a design engineer skilled in field programmable gate arrays and application-specific integrated circuits that will find their way into its fiber optic comms devices.
The Register contacted Huawei for comment, but had not received a reply at the time of publication. ®
Updated to add at 10:13 UTC on April 13, 2022:
Huawei referred to a statement made by its rotating chairman Guo Ping at the end of March in response to a questions about where Huawei would pull out of Russia to avoid risking additional sanctions: “We’ve noticed that some countries and regions have issued some policies, and they’re complex and constantly changing. Huawei is still carefully assessing these policies.”