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Huawei has approaching 150,000 staff worldwide, according to Sladek, and up to 70,000 of those work in research and development.
Unlike Foxconn and other of its neighbours, the company focuses on creating products rather than manufacturing them — an approach that fits well with the Chinese government's aim of moving dirtier industries out of Shenzhen into the interior.
"The Shenzen government wants to focus on knowledge-based industries, maybe follow Manhattan into financial via an initiative with Hong Kong," Raffensperger said.
Image: Karen Friar