­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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  • s.yu - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    No, just no. Hua is exactly the same in Beijing dialect as it would be in standard Mandarin. Stop pretending to know things that you don't.
  • s.yu - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    It does not. Hua in Beijing dialect is exactly as it is in standard Mandarin. Stop pretending to know things that you don't.
  • s.yu - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    It does not. Hua in Beijing dialect is exactly as it is in standard Mandarin. Stop pretending to know things that you don't.
  • s.yu - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    It does not. Hua in Beijing dialect is exactly as it is in standard Mandarin. Stop pretending to know things that you don't.
    Why do I have to post this over and over again, there's nothing special about this post and shouldn't be censored, except maybe by Chinese standards.
  • Murloc - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    Hue-Away sounds like a brazilian repellant.
  • Goyim - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    I dont get these guys. I almost bought a Mate 2 for its battery life. Why didnt they keep pushing it in that direction? Their newer devices seem like a constant regression.
  • name99 - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    Presumably because they want to sell to a larger population than JUST Shadowmaster625, and most people have made it clear that they prefer smaller(or at least thinner) phones over larger batteries...
    Is this so hard to understand?

    When I read these tech comments, I sometimes think I'm living in a world of three-year-olds, people with no theory of mind and absolutely no awareness that other people (MOST other people) have different preferences and desires from them.
  • s.yu - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    I actually believe most people only need what Huawei provides: cheap crap in a flashy shell with a lot of battery. And they'll pay a lot for it. It doesn't take much to run the UI and beyond that, they only need to run a few SNS and make calls. They're not changing directions with the 950, look at it, T880MP4?? Samsung's going MP12 and I applaud their courage. Huawei meant for it to run the UI, camera(with the ISP to take off load), simple apps and sometimes a few videos, while MP4 keeps the die size down and it's all for an acceptable barebones experience with the lowest cost possible. They're never aiming for the top, in a technological sense, they're aiming solely at top profit and they make such a blatant show of it that it's repulsive.
  • Murloc - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    how is it repulsive?

    If you have 1000$ and you can make more money with it, don't you want to get the most out of it?

    How can you expect anybody to give up on profits to pursue some quest to make the best phone ever that is all in your head and nobody actually wants?

    Most people don't need anything else than messaging apps and decent battery life, get over it.

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