- Chinese tech giant Huawei has become the focus of a geopolitical flashpoint in US-China relations.
- At a delicate time for the company, Getty photographer Kevin Frayer was given privileged access to its headquarters outside the Chinese city of Shenzen.
- He observed a sprawling campus, which spans 3.5 square miles and features buildings inspired by European landmarks.
- Home to 25,000 workers, Frayer found e mployees sleeping in their lunch breaks, taking art classes, and playing ping pong.
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Huawei is the second-biggest smartphone maker in the world, and is currently at the heart of a geopolitical fight between the US and China.
America last week threw oil on the fire by blacklisting Huawei, meaning tech companies including Google dramatically severed ties their Chinese counterpart.
As the firestorm around the company has grown, Huawei has opened itself up more to journalists, inviting a number inside its sprawling headquarters. Even the usually reclusive CEO Ren Zhengfei has courted the press in several interviews in recent months.
To this end, a new photo series from Getty photographer Kevin Frayer offers a glimpse inside the embattled firm’s surreal new campus outside of Shenzen, with buildings mimicking European landmarks, pull-out beds so employees can nap in their lunch-breaks, and black swans.
Scroll on for a look inside Huawei.
Huawei’s “Ox Horn” campus is located just outside the city of Shenzen, and houses 25,000 employees.
The campus spans 3.5 square miles, and the architecture is inspired by European cities.
Streets and boulevards connect the buildings.
This is part of the Paris area.
This building is a replica of the Palace of Versailles.
All in all, the campus is split into 12 “towns” modelling different European cities.
The buildings range from bright white to red brick.
Some of the “towns” are connected by bridges.
A man-made lake is overlooked by a replica of Heidelberg castle.
The lake extends through a huge park.
Black swans glide through the water. They reportedly represent “non-complacency within the corporate culture,” according to CNBC’s Uptin Saiidi.
The grounds are littered with statues and fountains.
Still under construction is a replica of the Peace Bridge between China and North Korea.
The buildings are no less opulent on the inside. This is a private dining room.
And this is a reception with a screen displaying various Huawei products.
The company provides public transport to the campus. Employees can take a shuttle bus.
Alternatively, the campus has its own system of trains.
Employees can enjoy the sights on their commute in.
Before disembarking for their working day.
The campus houses a wide range of workers. Here a cybersecurity employee works accompanied by Lego figurines.
The campus is also home to servers, which need to be attended to by engineers.
Thermal engineers perform heat tests on Huawei equipment.
Then there’s a production line, where workers assemble Huawei devices.
All the while, employees are monitored by cameras equipped with facial recognition technology.
The facial recognition tech feeds back to this security display.
Roughly 12 cafeterias are scattered across the huge campus to feed the 25,000 employees, according to CNBC.
Their food is subsidized by Huawei.
Employees can even attend a tea ceremony in one of the on-site cafés.
Apart from eating, it’s common practice for employees to have a lie down during their lunch breaks. Here, a Huawei worker watches a programme on his phone.
Lots of employees like to catch up with their favourite shows this way.
Pool is another break-time option.
Some employees prefer to grab some real shuteye.
Employees nap right next to each other.
There are lots of other ways for them to unwind, including a Silicon Valley favourite: ping pong.
Or they can head to the basketball court after work.
Others take an art class.
Or read in the staff library.
Employees also take part in team-building exercises, like this one.
At the end of the day, there is an exodus of employees.
Security guards line up before heading home.
They can hop back on the train.
But some employees prefer to take their own transport.
Some employees nod off on the journey home.
Back at base, all is quiet.
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