While Apple is nowhere near as evil as Huawei, it's sad when you think about it, that EUs best and brightest minds, educated with EU money are helping strengthen the Chinese and US tech titans instead of the domestic ones but Europe dug it's own grave here by not funding its domestic tech sector enough and sleeping at the wheel while US and China were stealing their lunch from underneath their nose.
But nobody was funding Apple. U.S. just created the environment where tech business can thrive and let the competition do the rest. EU market on the contrary is still controlled by century-old companies.
From my (not that long) experience with German tech job market, I've got an impression that US-based companies normally have better (more open, more inclusive, more developer-centric) culture and better compensation.
Similarly a non-trivial point in financial history of Sun was contracts that indirectly depended on NSA.
Then you have third-order money flows, where lots of govt money flew into various projects, which enriched people enough that they could buy Apple products.
I'd argue that the biggest difference is that the government money was very free flowing, and often goal-oriented and who actually got it was a detail that wasn't even taken into account unless you failed to deliver. Meanwhile a lot of EU funding grants, depending on country, involves a lot of paperwork instead of just govt buying from you.
Conversely the BBC Micro was picked as a winner by the BBC back when it's predecessor systems were also-rans. This drove educational purchases, and ultimately led to ARM.
Honestly the main thing that drove the US tech sector was the invention of the integrated circuit, and massive scale. Europe back then was still very balkanised, the EEC (which became the EU) was only just getting going.
Fully agree with your last point, Europe was and still is much more bureaucratic.
That's an interesting point. I believe this paperwork is there to prevent corruption somehow. Yet, from the unshakeable position and government ties of the old industry one might conclude that the result was exactly the opposite.
Does Airbus have government contracts? Does Ericsson or Nokia? Do you believe European governments contracts with these companies are keeping them afloat?
But to get those contracts there had to be appropriate spending by government, and that's what I meant in my comment.
That's a hard pill to swallow because it doesn't boil down to simple things like R&D spending by sector.
Also, it means there's not that much the state apparatus can necessarily do.
It's a fantastical misunderstanding of markets to suggest that 'government does stuff and then we win'. Obviously government is very important in systematic ways, and even more so in direct ways to help nations get over their limited size to do things like 'Airbus'.
And while Steve Jobs probably would not have thrived in Europe, he did however in the US and there isn't quite a corollary in Europe.
There are so many factors.
And most paradoxically - many of the factors that hinder Europe from expansion, have benefits in the other direction. German culture is much more formal, the gears run pretty well there, but they also are more resistant to change. Attitudes towards work/live balance means a high standard of living, and that's worth something of course.
One thing worth nothing that nobody seems to talk about so I tend to highlight it, is the media participation in industry. In the US, CNN will talk about 'RobinHood' and 'Bumble' and 'Tesla' endlessly. The amount of free PR and narrative building is incalculable.
Most of the rest of the world is not like that.
How do you compete as a little European entity that nobody talks about, when CNN is giving millions of 'free impressions daily' to your competitors?
As one of many differentiation.
Of course, in China, you have a managed economy in which the winners are effectively chosen, and the state backs them.
Normally - this does not work.
But when you have a nation that is 'behind' typically you an have some central planners make rational investments in 'infrastructure' and specific industry. Much like the post-war planning of Korea and Japan. After a while, the marginal returns to 'low hanging fruit' dissapears.
China continues with that approach into the high tech world. While they build 'highways' (much like US strategic investment in the highway system in the 1950's) - they're also building out consumer payments (Ali), taxi services (DiDi), networking (Huawei) etc. - in a quasi capitalist way - things which, in the Western world we opted to have done in private markets.
It also means that Micheal Dell starting a company building computers in garage from parts, like many many companies in just in Poland, let alone EU, he had ready made, near-zero extra cost, market of 235 million people that spoke effectively the same language, required no export declarations, and had nation-wide ways to market.
This is a real differentiator.
BTW, China is internally very very competitive, though it appears they put focus on smaller companies than big american style corps (even though they have such as well, obviously)
Usually in a given sector their are three champion companies who fiercely compete with each other.
Eg China telecom unicom and mobile
Or tencent Ali (and now) bytedance
Foreign companies hiring people away? Now you can pay more to compete.
Less well publicized? Buy yourself some attention just like US companies do.
You aren't trying to build the most immediately efficient company with the subsidies, but you're trying to keep local competition in the market, and be less at the whim of external companies.
A good example is that European companies are not interested in dealing with little startups that are not powerful. They like to deal with 'big brands'. They are unable to make institutional decisions based on more calculated merit, and instead go the safe route.
Entrepreneurs taking smaller risks.
Entrepreneurs not understanding how the VC cycle works.
A lack of proper exits.
The list is long.
Europe has plenty of money and 'competent, regular professional managers' but a dirth of the kind of focus required to make big plays.
I don't know what the answer is.
GSM, and today's mobile networks, are essentially products of subsidized European national telcoms.
The problem is rather that Europeans have historically been ineffective or slow at understanding end-user "cultural" products. American pop culture still dominates, while locals usually seem like poor imitations.
But the value produced by FANGs is essentially cultural, rather than technological or industrial. This thinking is suspicious and foreign to European engineers. Boomer engineers and industrialists really struggle to grasp this and it's still a point of contention even though few know how to articulate it.
But the current state is the result of sequences of decisions made in the preceding twenty years. Until it was literally demonstrated by Apple, they entirely dismissed the idea that most value in phones would be generated through an open ecosystem.
There are plenty of people with stale mindsets in the European industrial giants struggling to grasp how electrification and AI will affect their legacies.
About the only value produced by Google being Google Docs and Android. Well, and the rare FLOSS improvements related to these.
Facebook? Similar. Taking over culture is not value. We had better services at around time it was created, but the huge money combined with network effects did the number on them.
Netflix, well. Let's say we had VoD services before them, some even better. Their major cultural win is making exclusive series with the huge money they got invested.
Amazon has one improvement in their sales systems with the remote warehouses. Plus AWS.
Apple at least designs phones.
All of the companies benefited hugely from big cash investment, somehow EU companies don't get these. It's not a matter of culture either, there's plenty enough startups around. But US money is always more and bigger.
These have been different universes.
For innovation in Europe, we need a ton of independent money.
That's just like the NASA SLS project. One of the project's key selling point was that there were work items performed in each of the 50 states.
Even if, through a miracle, the EU countries could agree, how exactly would they expect to hire engineers that could double their income overnight by going to FAANG?
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The US government has always been quite involved in the rise of their tech sector, from funding to being a customer. If you look into the history of Silicon Valley, for example, you find, as often in the US, the role of the military behind early technological developments and geographical location.
A recent example is also SpaceX. It would not exist without decades of government funding for space and without contracts to supply NASA.
So, yes the US created and maintained a good environment but they did help much more than that.
It's usually been in the government's best interest to fund and lend a hand to companies like these. SpaceX can't exist without government funding for the time being and probably quite a bit of time in the future. When they do manage to get people to mars it will be even more so in the government's interest to fund them.
Considering NASA just had huge budget increases in the last few years, I would say your comment is spot on. Clearly the government is allocating more money back into NASA and space exploration so instead of working together, SpaceX will probably hard pressed to get the amount of funding they need from the government now:
The President's Budget Request (PBR) for NASA was released on 11 March 2019, and originally proposed $21.019 billion for fiscal year 2020. A supplemental request was released in May 2019 that proposed an additional $1.6 billion to support an acceleration of the lunar landing goal to 2024. All numbers for the PBR listed on this page include the supplemental request.
- $546.5 million for the Mars Exploration Program, of which $278 million is for the Mars 2020 rover and $109 million is to begin formulation of the next mission in a Mars Sample Return campaign.
- Moves the launch date of the Europa Clipper mission from the late-2020s to 2023, and proposes using a commercial rocket instead of an SLS for launch.
- Walks back the proposal to transition the ISS to commercial operations by 2025: "By 2025, the Budget envisions commercial capabilities on the International Space Station as well as new commercial facilities and platforms to continue the American presence in Earth orbit."
- Increases funding for technology development through the Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative, "which aims to spur the creation of novel technologies needed for lunar surface exploration and accelerate the technology readiness of key systems and components."
- NASA is proposing "increasing facility maintenance activities at all Centers to reduce risk to missions. Increased funding will help reduce the significant backlog of facility maintenance projects and requirements."
- Proposes $1 billion for a Human Lunar Landing System "to enable NASA to begin supporting the development of commercial human lunar landing systems. This acquisition strategy will allow NASA to purchase an integrated commercial lunar lander that will transport astronauts from lunar orbit to the lunar surface and back."
Similar stuff with China!
The US tech sector is essentially pegged by the petrodollar. Countries have to use the dollar to sell oil and then invest their excess dollars in the US economy.
Are you sure? One of the bigger reasons why Huawei is having troubles with rolling out it's hardware (routes, 5G) in Europe and US is how entangled they are with the government.
Is that a joke ? Huawei is probably the Chinese tech company with the most government involvement. They're a strategic company propped-up as a point of national policy.
If you are worrying about Chinese government controlling the company, actually in China, the government does not need to fund a company to do that. For example, the poverty elimination program was set out by the government, all major companies would be encouraged to participate. If you are 'encouraged' by the government in anywhere around the world, you would participate for a better relationship with the government.
What makes you think that?
In other words, the Chinese government effectively forced Huawei's competitors to give them a large subsidy.
The US tech sector is supported by the Western world's extremely broad IP protections. In my mind, that's the number-one way in which US tech benefits from the US government.
It goes farther than that. Universities in many EU countries are essentially free, even for foreign students.
About 30% of students at my university in Berlin are foreign, coming from mostly Asian, Arabian, and American countries. And you know what? I wouldn't change a thing about it.
This "us vs. them", or more accurately "US vs. them" attitude needs to stop.
This is not completely true, it only applies to students from other EU/EEA countries. There are some exceptions for a few other european countries but apart from those, international students still have to pay the tuition.
This is incorrect (for Germany) unless you want to go to a university in Baden-Württemberg (one of the 16 states of Germany), which introduced tuition for international students in 2017.
Everywhere else you will pay virtually the same fees as a German national (<1k euro/year), except that you may be required to pay into a 'security fund' for international students if you have the means, which helps less-well-off international students or those who have fallen on hard times to pay those same fees.
Take the TU Berlin as an example: https://www.tu.berlin/en/studying/studienorganisation/finanz...
 Note that these fees are not tuition. About half of them pays for a greatly discounted public transport ticket, the other half for an assortment of smaller things.
The government wanted to make foreign students (outside of EEA) in universities pay significant tuition fees but that was shot down as unconstitutional because the constitution states that public education has to be free for everyone and anyone...
>> One ex-employee says there is effectively a glass ceiling for European workers.
> About 30% of students at my university in Berlin are foreign, coming from mostly Asian, Arabian, and American countries... This "us vs. them", or more accurately "US vs. them" attitude needs to stop.
Except they're not going to change. You (i.e. us) are just going to lose. How many European students are enrolled in elite institutions in China, India, Middle East, etc, at the host country's expense, who will then take coveted positions at foreign firms in those countries? 30%, lol?
In the US, they created this backdoor "Opt" work visa (which they're desperately trying to expand) that allows hundreds of thousands of foreign students to stay in the US once studies are finished and compete for jobs. Oh, and they don't pay various retirement taxes, so companies get an immediate 15% incentive to hire them over American students.
Only white Europeans and Americans are told they must bend over backwards to allow other cultures and ethnicities to advance while the rest of the world takes advantage of our self-inflicted stupidity and laughs at us while they surge past us.
You've been indoctrinated by various interest groups, none of whom actually have your interests or those of your country in mind.
First, OPT is not a visa. Optional Practical Training participants are mostly F-1 visa holders. Per IRS rules, the social security tax exemption "does not apply to F-1,J-1,M-1, or Q-1/Q-2 nonimmigrants who become resident aliens." And per IRS rules , you are considered a resident aliens if you pass the Substantial Presence Test , which states, "31 days during the current year, and 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that." Now how many students can get an OPT job and still fail this test?
The US immigration policy is not perfect and has holes. But attracting foreign talents to stay and work in the US is the baby, not the bath water.
The kumbaya people are so naive.
I can understand your argument if you say education in Europe should be paid for some people as residents of the country pay taxes. You don't have to be vitriolic to make that point.
How? What is "their" end-game? At worst "they" cost us like 3,000 euro/semester in tuition, which is virtually nothing.
At best the people that came here stay, adding skilled labor to our workforce.
At the very least Germany gets a solid boost to foreign relations, established a foundation for international corporation in research, and educated a generation of people who have seen the other side of the pond, while remaining less ignorant ourselves. There's a reason Germany is diplomatically one of the best connected countries.
You can hardly buy a measly frigate for your navy for what this costs us, and I know which is more useful for enacting meaningful change.
Also, personally, I value the experience of interacting with students from other nationalities a lot.
> In the US [...]
And? This is not the US.
> You've been indoctrinated
(Don't try to suggest ARM is an option - their pay is really uncompetitive.)
In Europe you have to be management to get payed anything substantial. Though most management is still doing the jobs which any engineer could combine with their work and probably do equally well or better.
You have to take into account the fact that in Europe the state takes a big chunk of your gross salary (probably around 50%) in form of social contributions and other taxes, to cover things like healthcare, unemployment, pension, welfare, parental leave and so on. In the US you have to cover these things yourself most of the time.
So while most people praise the European system they would like at the same time to earn as much as their US counterparts, which is unrealistic tbh. As the saying goes, "you can't have your cake and..."
If engineers could do it better, why don't they?
Some great companies cough airbus cough won’t pay you or consider hiring you unless you have a degree from a prestigious place. And if you tell HR you are not interested in being a manager but stay an engineer they won’t even hire you. Most people in the company produce Word and PowerPoint documents, not code.
Off-topic but: Is that so? For some reason I always thought they were on par with the American high-paying companies.
Buy tech instead of offering endless (paperwork intensive) subsidies. Harmonize markets so you can just sell everywhere without having to fund the local civil servant union by filling the new-and-special-snowflake paperwork for every country you want to sell to.
Which would be gov competition which in the current status quo of EU governance is a big nono.
The US cares a bit less about that and it's companies got the clout, the money and keep buying out EU ones in new markets or existing ones.
China obviously cares even less and will straight up do what you said.
What Europe needs is a lot of different changes, it needs to ramp up it's market unification and notably some protectionism to let it's local companies mature and prevent even mature ones from being Nokia'd or the like.
>Harmonize markets so you can just sell everywhere without having to fund the local civil servant union by filling the new-and-special-snowflake paperwork for every country you want to sell to.
That's something the EU is very slowly doing.
The slower they do it the bigger the gap will be!
Not going to happen, however sad it makes me as european. EU is good for quite a few things, but this ain't one of them.
I personally like to think Europe is very different from the US culturally, in that the countries themselves are much less aligned than the US states are. I would never consider corruption to be the cause of this, as much as it’s mostly about the egos of the individual countries and citizens.
Heck, we have tons of legal lobbyists in Brusel, what do you think is their sole source of (very good) income?
On national level, the more you go to the east, the more corrupt the state themselves are, ie previous government of Slovakia stepped down exactly due to too close ties to Italian mafia (and a murder of journalist+girlfriend who investigated this). Why Italian mafia you may ask? Well to pipe all the money coming from EU dotations into 'friendly' companies that deliver little and take a lot. Classic laundering of dirty money, this time done by state itself. All eastern states within EU have some non-trivial level of this.
I wouldn't compare EU and US politics directly, both are corrupt in some aspect and not so much in others (ie US and its 'defensive' market used only very offensively, board members of those companies being former politicians and vice versa). Still better than 3rd world obviously, or places like former soviet republics (not sure if 2nd world countries is the proper term for those).
In Europe, however, you find There’s well established brands in each country. Perhaps only in the last 1-2 decades have brands like Easy jet been able to penetrate across Europe to a certain pan-Europe generation. Even there people want to do business in their own native languages and cultures quite often
IMHO it's not a failure of the technology skills but rather a huge failure of the elites and management (and how management is educated in European universities) - everything was sourced out and lot's of small companies died due to mismanagement - also instead of nurturing the highly educated former east-bloc countries they were crushed by neoliberal politics to avoid having more competition for western european firms. So the whole of eastern europe became a factory hall for management in the west.
I am not claiming I have the answer or the French laws are wrong, just presenting a data point. Nevertheless, this is HN, so I expect people how dumb I am and how I have no idea what I am talking about. Fire away.
What's up with that then?
This shows that even giant US and German companies can work with French labor laws just fine otherwise they wouldn't be there.
So, to me, this whole current push in the west to drive down labor laws in the sake of "staying competitive" is just a big globalization scam on the working class and a backtrack of all the quality of life progress made from years of struggle by previous generations.
Good for France for not giving in!
Every multinational company of a sufficient size is going to have "an office" in a major developed country.
The question to me is whether or not that office is employing more than the minimum required for the company to sell products in that country. If your "office" is just local sales and support, some lawyers for local legal issues, etc, I don't think that's a strong case.
Do they do substantial R&D there? Are there new products that come out developed by "Microsoft Paris"? Etc.
'Small company avoids being taken over by globalcorp because their employee rights are too strong'?
I'm trying to think of other US-Euro takeovers but right now the only one coming to mind is Microsoft/Nokia... and that's not good story
also, a cultural thing I don't see talked about much on HN is that many Europeans are critical of capitalism and are far more class conscious then most Americans (from my personal experience).
Often when we talk about tech, we talk about pop-tech. Aside from social media, chip giants like Intel or TSMC are the topic. The machines they use are build in the Netherlands by a company very few people know by name. Sure, the chip design is perhaps the essence, but I believe that US companies are just good at marketing, Chinas companies are good at scale.
Europe has many world market leader in the middle class. It is a misconception that you end up with a business titan in such a position.
It doesn't generate press, but I believe this is a far better foundation for an economy compared to having some superstars.
Although the US has certainly a lot of really good high tech. For example Texas Instruments has incredible tech just in their drawers, but they generate comparatively few headlines.
Additionally it's extremely hard to get funding - there are some programs like EXIST - www.exist.de but this is also shaped pretty much for economics students and offers little help for a technical startup.
This seem to be common model worldwide.
>> they want to work in a large century-old semi-government company
Virtually none of the discoveries that fundamentally changed the world were _driven_ by thoughts about that mindnumbing thing. It really kills ingenuity and curiosity
Any source on that? That's literally the first time i'm hearing anyone say North American companies provide better work-life balance than European ones. OECD average work week disagrees with you, i'm not aware of other sources on the subject.
Right but we're talking about a single specific industry that's not the norm.
My North American company gives me as much time off as I ask for, they shut down for two weeks over the new year, they don't care what hours I work, and they give extended sabbaticals after a few years. In the office they have incredible standard of food and drinks and the off-sites are awesome.
My friends at British companies have to be at their desk at 0830, get 28 days holiday and not an hour more, have to take a sad sandwich to work because nothing is provided, and the off-sites are depressing.
The biggest difference: North American companies are happy for you to work from home. This has given me thousands of hours back with my family, and saved me hundreds of thousands of pounds in housing costs. My friends at British companies all have to go into an office. (Pre-pandemic.)
If you're a supermarket shelf-stacker I'm sure work-life and benefits are better in the UK than in the US... but we're not talking about shelf-stackers we're talking about tech companies.
I start and end work whenever i want ( i try to make the required 35 hours weekly but don't keep rigorous track).
I get 35 days paid vacation, can take sabaticals of up to a year, renewable for one more year, and if i start a business i can take a year off work ( salary and position are kept) to see if it works. There's paid maternal and paternal leave. I can't be fired tomorrow unless for a big error on my part. If i get called outside of office hours, i get paid extra (double extra on Sundays or holidays). ( That's labour law)
See why you can't make huge blatant overgeneralisations?
40 hours is the normal maximum here. Weekends are clear. At least 4 weeks paid holiday that you must take (I get 6).
I've only just recently broken 6 figures in the UK and though I would have been there years ago in the US, there is no way I would trade in my free time for that extra cash.
I don’t know what to tell you apart from you’re operating under some myths about North American companies.
Hours, leave, on-call, compensation are all better at my North American company but working in the UK than what you’re boasting about in a European company.
Why work for a European company? I have more free time but better pay where I am.
How long since you've heard about anything relevant on the market from "Big German electronics manufacturer" (wink)? And from "Big Dutch electronics manufacturer" (though this one seems to be still around in some areas)?
And if Huawei pays good salaries then other companies better get on with it, right? Competition is competition. Only management can give the direction, the focus and the urgency needed and the European companies were awful at it.
Not if you have a state-backed cultish operation leveraging hyper nationalism and breaking all of the rules.
You can't compete with an entity that has unlimited cash, a massive spy apparatus behind it, access to financing from state owned banks that work with the central bank, where state banks print money to finance your customers, and completely asymmetric trade rules working in it's favour.
"Don't worry, we can make that for 1/5th the cost that you do, thanks to our labour laws back home (!) and the fact our IP appeared magically on our desks. And you don't even need to pay that money now - pay it later - our friendly CCP bank back home will give you unlimited credit! I might disagree with what I am telling you and everything bout it, but I've been trained since youth to store those notions deep inside and to never really speak the truth".
OK, but enough about Apple.
Apple has the JP Morgan handing out cheap loans backed by the Fed to it's customers?
Apple works in perfect sync with the US Government and execs 'disappear' when they don't?
What happened when Jack Ma dared to disagree with Xi?
One drop of water doesn't mean it's raining.
The German Mittelstand is famous for their "hidden champions" - in fact, 48% of small-ish "world market leaders" are German, while only 28 of the big "Top 500" are (per https://www.bbc.com/news/business-40796571).
The problems with our Mittelstand are a) modern IT technologies (the amount of Mittelstand companies operating on fax-ed POs or with extremely shoddy IT setups is... mind blowing) and b) finding new and competent staff, given that many young people move to cities because the rural areas are unliveable.
Apple's 2020 revenue was ~$US 250B; Siemen's 2019 revenue was ~$US $100B.
> In 2018, the independent Philips Lighting N.V. was renamed Signify N.V. However, it continues to produce and market Philips-branded products such as Philips Hue color-changing LED light bulbs
Is the argument that (one of):
- the EU budget should be expanded to directly subsidise tech companies, or take equity ownership in companies, using taxpayer money
- individual EU companies should do the same sort of state capitalism, using taxpayer money, and probably violating EU rules on state aid
- EU investment funds should deliberately select less profitable investments for nationalist reasons
- the small group of hyper-wealthy globalised investors such as Softbank (Japan) that currently hand out ridiculous sums to SV companies should hand them out to EU companies instead, because .. reasons
I have very ambivalent views about this myself, but if you want EU state capitalism to compete with Chinese state capitalism then please say so and we can gang up on the doctrinaire free market lot.
The UK is very odd sometimes; I have a half-SV-salary and it puts me in the 97%ile of UK pay. The only people who seem to be well paid are footballers and company directors, yet London house prices are set by the marginal oligarch.
Additionally, the late hours necessary in a satellite office don't map well to senior+ people, as they will often have families and children.
We were the UK office of a medium-sized Seattle-headquartered tech company. One of our department heads got a job at a fintech not long after I left, and gradually poached the rest of his team. Despite the salary raise being like 70%, the company refused to benchmark against them, because the were Central London, and we were Outer London.
I ended up jumping ship a couple of years later to that fintech, that 70% raise was lovely.
A friend finished his PhD in ML and ended up taking a job at a FAANG in the EU as the tech companies from Germany and France were only willing to pay half of that.
You can't be at the top if you treat your SW devs and researchers as an IT cost center.
Obligatory article: https://alexdanco.com/2021/01/11/why-the-canadian-tech-scene...
It’s about what the business owners are willing to do.
Honestly, bragging your engineers are worth 50K less while pitching for HQ2 won't stop their brain drain.
Plus I like being (or ok, feeling) productive, instead of spending 99% of my time on politics, analysis and waiting for small code changes.
There's also SRE, which has a slightly different twang on how we spend our time and then interview makeup.
For what it's worth, I'm not a computer science grad at all and I'm doing just fine at Google. Got hired as a senior manager, though, so YMMV.
Not trying to convince you of anything, just trying to be helpful. :)
It becomes an equivalence:
* Since you decide nothing, therefore your salary is low.
* Since your salary is low, you therefore decide nothing.
This stems fundamentally from a (backward?) European strict view of companies, regardless of how hierarchical/flat their structure may be. And that view is that the corporate environment is split into two groups:
* Managers: they decide;
* Workers: they do work.
This split may have made sense in the Industrial Revolution era but it has shown it's age in this day and age. And yet the model (and the perception, and the values) persist.
If you, as a knowledge worker, ever make the mistake of "getting down and get things done" you will have chosen your side.
It's funny that you completely missed the point ( i think the other person is making). What about time off? Pension? Parental leave? Medical costs? Way of life ( as in, work stops at 6pm or 7pm or whatever, and then it's your free time; weekends are usually off limits; you don't have to own a car and waste hours in traffic depending on where you live, etc.)
Furthermore, the rest of what you said is painting hundreds of thousands of business across more than 30 countries with the same brush. I work in a European company, and it's nothing like that. You shouldn't generalise like that.
All international companies have R&D all around the world.
ps. It's not stealing when you do R&D in foreign country.
If they are doing something we don't like, we have to address that. (Eg. child labor, unsafe work conditions, carbon tariff if they don't have a carbon tax.) In itself there's absolutely no problem with having an R&D hub in the EU for a US or Chinese company.
FWIW, this is the case in American companies in Europe too. People with US roots progress up the organisation faster, and nearly all the top spots are occupied by people with an american accent...
This mentality is somewhat changing, but very slowly and white westerns are still prioritized. You won't see any Indians run German auto companies any time soon like you see them running major US tech companies.
Daimler... Ola is Swedish
Adidas... Kasper is Danish
Beiersdorf... Stefan is Belgian
Linde... Aldo is Italian
I think you're drawing conclusions where there are none to be drawn
Two exception 1 from USA and another from balkans.
Siemens USA: CEO Barbara Humpton, not German.
Bosch USA: Mike Mansuetti, not German.
BMW USA: President Bernhard Kuhnt (sounds German), but top leadership team includes lots of Non-Germans: Shaun Bugbee, Lisa Errion Saums, Adam Sykes, Howard S. Harris, Adam McNeill, Michael Peyton, Trudy Hardy
Porsche USA: CEO Kjell Gruner (German), but top leadership includes mostly names that are not German: Joe Lawrence, Thierry Kartochian, George Feygin, Angus Fitton, Glenn Garde, Pedro Mota, Scott Codute, Trevor Arthur, John Cappella.
I guess you either don't know or you do know but spread misinformation on purpose.
Bosch CEO: Volkmar Denner
BMW CEO: Harald Krueger
Porsche CEO: Oliver Blume
All German. I always thought of the CEOs of foreign branches were usually more "marketing" CEOs than actual run the core business CEOs. They are the face for the regional dealers and suppliers to meet in the respective regions.
It's expected to have leadership in the domestic branch of any large corporation to be mostly from that country: few Americans emigrate to Germany for work, expecting the ~100k US-citizens in Germany to contain the CEOs of major companies among ~80m people (mostly German) seems ridiculous just looking at statistics.
But, how do you feel about American or European companies, where their senior management are all white men?
And where Asian-American men, of say Chinese descent, feel that they will never be allowed into the higher ranks of upper management.
I think these folks also feel marginalized, and are restricted by glass ceilings too.
Some of the more resourceful ones, strike out on their own, and start their own companies. But those are few and far in between.
That sounds pretty familiar to me from ordinary very large US companies, no? Maybe German companies are less dysfuntional.
In those dystopias the "supranational" was rarely meant to imply some cosmopolitan post-national qualities, just lack of being bound by local laws. A "Chinese West India Company" under an unspecified amount of CCP influence would fit right in.
As for the terrible working conditions, the article takes an absurdly long time to make a few tepid points. Chinese expats don’t mingle with the locals. They are rotated if they do develop ties with the local population.
The articles asserts that employees are handcuffed by payment in shares. When leaving the company, they must sell their shares. The articles says this robs them of their retirement. How? Must they be sold at a loss? When my employer matched my retirement contributions in shares, I was pissed that I couldn’t sell until I quit.
Again, I would love to hate Huawei, but this article isn’t doing it for me.
That's the killer for me. That's illegal.
Rotating duty to prevent sympathizing with the locals is standard procedure for law enforcement agencies above the municipal level.
Is it illegal when it's not the government doing it though? In what country, what laws make it illegal?
I'm pretty sure it's not illegal in my country but I dunno about the person I was responding to. I was just pointing out that it's SOP in some industries.
Employers need a reason to fire employees.
This prevents them from reaching into people's private lives, like Huawei is doing here.
This almost certainly doesn't matter.
If someone is working, full time, in the german office, for years, then they are almost certainly covered by german labor laws, even if they are a chinese national.
But if your employer justifies any negative action towards you with "the person made friends in their private life", you can probably sue for harassment/bullying.
But seriously... Disrespecting the local culture as an expat has nothing but bad effects on the organization in the long term. Huawei will pay a price for this, in the long term.
At the same time I did see the "shadow government" but would like to clarify that it seemed to me to progress beyond a team leader you had to be fluent in mandarin, not necessariy be Chinese. Which makes sense considering that yes, upper managements English is usually poor.
How unlike any other company I know.
They are also clearly ageist as they make sure some employees earn way too much so that they retire early in their 40s. From the article:
“The retirement age in China is 60 for men and 55 for women. At Huawei, however, according to our sources, it is common to end one’s career already in one’s mid-40s. When long-serving Chinese managers reach this age, they often cash out the value of their company shares and effectively retire.”
It is great to see the funders of this journalism are against this ageism in tech and include the likes of the McArthur foundation and Soros affiliates.
Great that the article highlighted some potential management glass ceilings for Europeans in the Chinese company. The Chinese should learn from the lack of glass ceilings to non-Europeans in European companies. Or how egalitarian and meritocratic they are in hiring and don’t even care about formal diplomas or your ethnic background.
It baffles me why any (western) European would move to the US and leave behind such great meritocratic European tech companies.
As China continues to open to the world, and Chinese go study abroad, I think that Chinese companies will slowly become more mindful of these issues.
The forced retirement thing described in the article is nearly identical though.
Too Clever By Half
Oh no, just like most of the companies out there. I get it, Huawei might not be an ideal workplace. But the article is riding the China hate train.
Huawei also filed patents around facial identification of Uyghurs, who are of course being held in concentration camps.
But go ahead talk about R&D investment in Europe and ignore the behavior of the firm.
I’ve been seeing this lately. But I fail to see why China or Huawei is getting hit by it.
Unless it’s just blind hatred by the HNers here about anything and everything China related.
I’m sure the FBI is employing facial recognition software that delineates between black vs. white people too.
Let’s not forget mass sterilization of women in those camps which is a form of genocide.
Or is this just culturally how workers are generally treated in China?
Is there any hope for worker rights in China?
Has there actually been some conscious decision to treat industry as a type of warfare? After all, the lack of manufacturing competitiveness in the United States is actually considered by some to be a security issue.