Huawei plans billions in dividends for staff

HONG KONG • China's Huawei is set to reward employee-shareholders with a 3 per cent rise in cash dividends worth billions of dollars, according to company sources and Reuters calculations, a move expected to boost staff morale as it battles a US-led drive against its telecoms gear.

The payout also appears to indicate profit growth as well as confidence the company can survive US accusations that its telecoms network equipment may enable espionage by the Chinese government, said analysts.

Known for its so-called "wolf culture" that demands high levels of dedication from employees in return for high pay, Huawei Technologies boasts that about 80,000 of its workers own nearly all of the company's shares, a scheme viewed as unique for a firm of its size.

The cash dividend per share for 2018 is expected to rise to 1.05 yuan (21 Singapore cents) per share from 1.02 yuan, said six employee-shareholder sources, citing internal notices handed down over the past month.

Total returns per share dropped 7 per cent to 2.61 yuan, they added. That follows a stock split. There will also be a one to 1.56 stock split for 2018, the sources said.

"I am satisfied with the number given the macro environment," said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified.

A spokesman for Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications equipment-maker and No. 2 manufacturer of smartphones, said the company does not publicly disclose its dividend policy.

The cash dividend per share for 2018 is expected to rise to 1.05 yuan (21 Singapore cents) per share from 1.02 yuan, said six employee-shareholder sources, citing internal notices handed down over the past month.

The payout comes amid an unprecedented crisis for Huawei as Washington calls on governments around the world to stop using the Chinese firm's gear, particularly in 5G networks.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 03, 2019, with the headline 'Huawei plans billions in dividends for staff'. Print Edition | Subscribe