During the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, Huawei is often accused as a company that is under the influence of the Chinese government. As a result, the company was barred from selling 5G equipment to several countries and most recently the company was also barred from dealing with US tech companies due to security concerns. This is a claim that the company has repeatedly denied.
To highlight the company’s ownership clearly, Huawei has published a microsite that explains how the company is owned and managed.
According to Huawei, they are a private company that is 100% owned by its own employees. It was founded in 1987 with a capital of 21,000CNY (about RM12,517 in current rates) by Huawei CEO, Ren Zhengfei, with five other investors.
The organisation has implemented an Employee Shareholding Scheme and as of 2018, the company has 96,768 shareholding employees. They emphasised that the scheme is only limited to employees and there’s no participation from government agencies or outside organisation.
The current employees own 88.94% of the company, followed by 10.05% owned by retired or restructured shareholding employees. Ren Zheng Fei is mentioned as the company’s “natural person shareholder” with a 1.01% stake but his investment accounted for 1.14% of Huawei’s total share capital.
The management of the company follows a collective leadership model and the company claims that it isn’t tied to a single individual. As illustrated below, the shareholding employees are given voting rights to elect a representative commission. The 115 elected representatives which comprise of various departments will then elect the Board of Directors as well as the Supervisory Board.
The microsite explains that the Board of Directors is the highest body responsible for the corporate strategy, operations, management and customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, the Supervisory Board oversees the Board of Directors and senior management, as well as Huawei’s operational status and financial position. Both sides will decide their respective deputy chairs and executive directors.
The company has three deputy chairs that take turns to serve as the company’s rotating chairman. According to Huawei, this represents a collective leadership model and they emphasised that the company is fully owned by its employees. To uphold the common values and to ensure a robust corporate government, Ren Zhengfei, as the founder has the right to veto certain matters as defined by the company’s Charter of Corporate Governance.
You can view the microsite here.