­It’s Just Another Smartphone Factory™

In a very typical stereotype, the campus in Shenzhen for Huawei has around 30,000 employees over 2.5 square kilometers, with some of them located in housing nearby within the local area. Perhaps quite interesting is that there are Foxconn offices across road, to the extent that at one T-junction there was a sign for left saying ‘Foxconn’ and a sign for the right saying ‘Huawei’. It has been noted that Foxconn has manufactured products for Huawei before, and thus I can imagine being so close to each other has its own benefits.

Make sure you make the right turn

Needless to say, a campus this size is very difficult to ‘tour’ around, especially as we had special presentations and meetings with the President of Huawei’s watch division discussing the Huawei Watch, lunch with the Director of Global Relations as well as a tour of the testing facilities during the short time there.

The standard rules apply for a company of this nature – there are tall corporate buildings with product areas and descriptive walkthroughs of what the company does, with professional meeting rooms that have in-house catering, whereas the technical offices and data center management are generic looking concrete places that are mostly no-go areas for media visits. This dichotomy between ‘on-show corporate’ and ‘the general workforce’ is mirrored in companies around the world, to the extent that we also had lunch in a special canteen for guests with a background band as you entered.

Musical accompaniment in the executive dining hall reception

During lunch we ate and talked with the Director for Public Relations, rather than eating in the casual employee canteen and experiencing the potential mêlée that comes with that. However, the campus is designed with an element of beauty in mind, under the premise that the CEO has a degree in architecture, and wanted the campus to reflect an element of style rather than be another box hidden in a corporate mountain. It was at this point that it was suggested by Andrei that the ultimate tech press clickbait article would be ‘An In-Depth Look at Huawei’s Architecture’ and it being about the buildings and landscapes of the campus, rather than insights into the company's silicon or devices.

Part of the tour was also to one of the smartphone testing laboratories, although we were not allowed to take images inside of the facilities. If any of our readers have seen our articles in the past about this (such as ASUS), the usual array of drop tests, twisting tests, insertion, vibration, high temperature, low temperature, humidity cycles and battery presses were also present on site, although RF testing is performed on a different campus than the one we visited. So when this page started with ‘It’s Just Another Smartphone Factory’, the reality is that almost all of them are like this, as they all need to perform similar tests dictated international and industry standards. The key here is individualization - most of the key elements to what a company does with their product is in the hardware design stage or software, rather than product testing, unless water/dust resistance is a key factor, or additional MIL-SPEC (military standard) is needed. Even then, for MIL-SPEC, one would assume that the testing would be outsourced if it only applied to a few devices, rather than purchasing all the equipment.

Why We Went It’s Just Another Smartphone Manufacturer™
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  • lilmoe - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    "eager to ripoff their customers and sell them overpriced garbage if they get the chance"

    History has proven that that's exactly what people want (consumers, power users and reviewers alike)... I don't accept it, but I'm living with it. You should too.

    People just want a working, OK product with "amazing presentation", and they're willing to pay a big buck for that.
  • s.yu - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    Yeah, Huawei is despicable in selling cheap tech wrapped in flashy shells as "high end", but look at all those fools who bought them.
  • londedoganet - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    > In the end Huawei is not really Chinese, they behave just as bad as Western companies, eager to ripoff their customers and sell them overpriced garbage if they get the chance.

    I fail to see the link between being Western and ripping customers off. Dishonesty in dealing is not an exclusively Western trait, neither is being honest and fair-dealing an exclusively Chinese trait.
  • Cinnabuns - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    As a Chinese person who grew up in Hong Kong, I have no idea what jjj is talking about.

    As a person who reads story after story about Chinese knockoff devices of questionable quality being sold to consumers, I still have no idea what jjj is talking about.
  • dawei86 - Sunday, January 10, 2016 - link

    is that you are fucking retard???
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    In the interest of transparency, let it be known that I have removed 6 comments from this discussion thread. Racism will NOT be tolerated, end of story. This is a technology news website, and while I like to give you guys a wide berth, there are some matters that we simply will not humor and are not appropriate for this website.
  • Goyim - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    In the End iPhone is not American, for it is Made in China.
  • V900 - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    "Eager to ripoff their customers and sell them overpriced garbage "

    What a load of pearl-clutching, pseudo intellectual prattle
  • tipoo - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    So other Chinese companies are eager to squander all profit margins in reverence of the consumer?
  • s.yu - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    They're not in a position not to. Huawei, however, is soon leaving that position, as you can see from the pricing of its P7, P8, Mate 7 and Mate S devices.

    They'd gone the furthest with Mate S, using the worst possible technology in a flagship and charging outrageous prices. P8 and Mate 7 already had ancient technology at normal to high prices, but Mate S was the worst offender.

    They probably didn't sell much though, as they quickly reverted with the pricing of the Mate 8. With much improved internals, it's cheaper than Mate S still(they made an excuse that Mate S is the real flagship while Mate 8 is a semi-flagship, semi-flagship with better internals than the actual flagship, LMAO) and close to what a Chinese manufacturer would usually charge.

    Xi JinPing's propaganda is basically turning the less educated 90% of the Chinese population into Nazis. All media are tightly controlled and this is some of what they're spreading: 1. The oppressors are at the gates and we rightfully expand our military presence. 2. We Chinese are the righteous(controversial territorial claims, repeating colonial age history over and over etc.) 3.We Chinese are the best(playing with numbers, telling little stories etc.), and western economies are collapsing. Imported merchandise are overpriced rip-offs, buy our own which are at least as good(claims "proven" through ridiculous "experiments" that only serve to feed the nationalists what they want to see). See something familiar here? Remember what Hitler was feeding to the Germans before he waged war on the world?

    This is what Huawei is using, because, as I said before, the name itself can be loosely translated into "China is capable", it's also usually how the fanboys interpret the name, so the nationalistic ultra-lefts with brittle self-esteem would have an orgasm to see it sell. When they brainwash enough ultra-lefts to follow them to the death, see to it that they start cashing in on that.

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