Huawei Employee Wrongfully Detained for 251 Days Over Severance Pay

By Bryan Grogan, December 5, 2019

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Huawei has responded to a former employee, named Li Hongyuan, after he unjustly spent 251 days in prison under charges of extortion and blackmailing the company. 

The statement, as per China Central Television, reads: 

“We respect the decisions of the judicial authorities, including the police, the procuratorate and the court. If (the former employee) Li Hongyuan thinks his rights and interests have been violated, we encourage him to defend those rights through legal channels, including suing Huawei”

Li, who worked with Huawei for 12 years, was detained by Shenzhen police on December 16, 2018 under allegations of extorting and blackmailing the tech giant over severance pay. He had been asked to resign from Huawei after accusing his department of inflating their sales figures. 

Huawei claimed that Li had blackmailed the company over the inflated sales figures and demanded RMB300,000 in exchange for his silence. He was formally arrested in January by Shenzhen Public Security Bureau. 

However, Li was released from custody in August of this year after a recording of negotiations with the company over severance pay came to light. He was later rewarded over RMB100,000 compensation from the state for the incident. 

Needless to say, netizens are outraged by Huawei’s part in the incident. The hashtag #华为员工索要离职补偿被拘留# (Huawei employee detained for resignation compensation) has blown up on Weibo over the past week. A number of local media outlets have gotten in on the act, with columnists encouraging Li Hongyuan to sue Huawei over the incident. 

[Cover image via Wikimedia]

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