SEOUL, Dec. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — The CTO of HiSilicon Technologies Co., the semiconductor design company of China’s Huawei Technologies Co., was previously employed as an executive director at Samsung Electronics Co.
The industry was shocked when Huawei successfully poached the high-ranking Samsung executive.
He was the key figure who had developed Samsung Electronics’ 10-nanometer semiconductor technology, and also participated in the 7-nanometer development in advance.
There was rumor that his annual salary is almost 4 billion won (US$3.53 million).
Huawei’s radical growth was the result of enormous investment in technology. Huawei invests 10 percent of its total sales into R&D.
The company has 30,000 patents related to mobile technology, and its development of new semiconductor technology is also prominent.
HiSilicon recently developed the Mobile Application Processor (AP) ‘Kirin 980’, which has AI functions. AP is the core chipset, which is like the brain of smart phones.
Huawei is also famous for using aggressive recruiting to narrow its technology gap with competitors.
South Korean global IT companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK hynix Inc. are having a hard time attracting and keeping talent because of the aggressiveness of Chinese firms’ recruiting.
The recruiting strategy of Chinese companies is simple – make an offer that can’t be refused. Potential recruits are often offered salaries nine times higher than what they currently make.
There is quite simply no easy solution for South Korean companies. Samsung Electronics has filed a lawsuit against the former executive who bolted to HiSilicon.
The problem is that filing a lawsuit also has limitations. It’s hard to win the case because it’s often judged as violation of freedom of occupation. It’s hard to stop Chinese companies from making such lucrative salary offers.
The loss of Koran technical professionals to Chinese companies cannot be measured in statistics alone.
Chinese companies recruit South Korean semiconductor professionals to their investment companies or subsidiaries in order to avoid contract clauses prohibiting reemployment in the same industry.
The South Korean government has also failed to make measures to protect core technology and professionals in key industries.
Samsung Electronics takes special care of retired executives, such as supporting their research at prestigious institutions such as Seoul National University to protect their semiconductor technology.
However, industry officials say there is no way to stop workers from going to other companies.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)