­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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  • londedoganet - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    Since you so nicely asked (that was sarcasm), here's comments for the first three pages. I got too irritated by that point to continue:

    -Page 1-

    > I could certainly imagine members of my family seeing the name ‘Huawei’ and not having an idea to pronounce it.

    "having an idea OF HOW to pronounce it"

    > then from the outside HiSilicon's Kirin lineup seems to eying the former development.

    "seems to eying"? "seems to BE eyeing", perhaps.

    > the devices we have tested so far do not necessarily produce anything new into the ecosystem.

    "produce anything new"? Was the author trying to say "introduce anything new"?

    > an overview of the Huawei media tour combined a look into corporate strategy,

    "combined WITH a look"

    -Page 2-

    > with a back-thought to large towns of 10,000+ people devoted to one factory

    "with a back-thought"? I don't know what that means.

    > the crucial part of accepting these trip offers is to talk and understand the people that matter most

    "talk TO and understand the people"

    > and as a journalist you either keep pumping out more of the same, rather than trying to be the best you can be and generate the sort of traffic that makes who you write for unique.

    The "either" is missing an "or" clause, and is therefore redundant.

    > so we were under no disillusion of the circumstances

    "under no ILLUSION"

    > VP of the Handset Product Line and the announcement of the Kirin 950.

    I don't think you can be "VP of... the announcement of the Kirin 950", so the phrasing is awkward.

    -Page 3-

    > 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.

    While it can be taken from context (and the accompanying photo) that the "special canteen for guests" was at Huawei, some words to make the link explicit would have been better. For example, "This dichotomy between ‘on-show corporate’ and ‘the general workforce’ is mirrored in companies around the world, AND HUAWEI WAS NO EXCEPTION, to the extent that we also had lunch in a special canteen for guests with a background band as you entered."

    > we were not allowed to take images inside of the facilities.

    Images are usually "captured", while photos are usually "taken". This sentence mixes verbs in a non-standard manner.

    > they all need to perform similar tests dictated international and industry standards.

    "dictated BY international and industry standards"
  • cruzinforit - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    It's also interesting to note that I think a few of these can be explained by the difference in how people from the UK talk compared to Americans. Since you know, Ian is from the UK it makes sense his manner of talking/typing might include british-english idiosyncrasies that we don't have in American english.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    Nice theory, but that wouldn't explain why Canadian readers find it annoying since we align more with the Brits than the Yanks.
  • Ian Cutress - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    Actually, it was looked over by five different sets of eyes, minimum. It seems I missed out a number of prepositions and conjunctions, and everyone's brain filled them in. Naturally when several thousands of readers look over, a couple of errors becomes a debate about a series of style choices or idiosyncrasies. But nevertheless, we're taking points on board always, especially with a mix of styles from our editors.

    I've taken the steps and adjusted most of what you've listed here - a couple were a bad mix of two half-sentences or missing punctuation mixed with non-standard rules (serial comma, for example). Some I disagree with, because they are how I would say them in company (and colloquially correct here at least). But with most, I totally agree with you.

    Thanks for the input, it is much appreciated. If any of our readers ever feel I've screwed up something linguistically, I'm happy to take an email as well (ian@anandtech.com). A few of our readers do already every now and again :)

  • SunnyNW - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    I am a Big fan of Anandtech but to be honest I have noticed quite a few mistakes in recent articles. Some seem so obvious that I am very surprised that they are looked over. I hate to be That guy pointing out grammar mistakes and the like in comments so I don't. Just to add, these are definitely errors and not just author specific style choices or idiosyncrasies. Common examples seem to be duplicate words in a sentence, simple misspellings, and/or missing words. I love the content of this site therefore please just take this as Constructive criticism, the site produces Top Quality material so I would hate for editing to become an issue. I have been reading the site for years and at least to my awareness the errors seem to have become more prominent recently, such as in the past month or two.
  • SunnyNW - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    My original comment had a few extra sentences but for some reason was being flagged as "Spam" and the site would not allow me to post. I started to randomly delete some sentences and it let me post but my post original comment was not harsh or "spam" in any way. It was very similar to what I posted above just with a few extra sentences none of which contained anything negative. I'm curious to know why my comment was being flagged as "spam" and what usually leads to this type of response, I've never encountered this before.
  • s.yu - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    Indeed, a draft with lack of basic spelling check.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    Oh, good, I'm not the only one that's irritated by this.
  • londedoganet - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    "hugh-er-way"? That sounds

    A) Nothing like how it would be pronounced in Mandarin (i.e. "hwa-way"), and additionally
    B) More like the brand name for a laundry bleach ("Hue-Away, now with extra whitening power!")
  • Communism - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    The 2nd suggestion by Ian describes how the name would be pronounced in Beijing Dialect.

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