Huawei Korea recently attempted to scout developers and sales managers from Dasan Networks via headhunters. Similar unnoticed attempts had been made in the past, as well. The Korean telecoms equipment manufacturer sent an official request to Huawei Korea earlier this month to stop such scouting attempts and those that infringed upon trade secrets.
Dasan Networks recorded sales of 160 billion won (US$147.9 million) last year, the highest amount in the domestic market. However, it is dwarfed in comparison to Huawei’s sales at 33.4 trillion won (US$30.9 billion). Huawei Korea, which was set up in 2007, had 70 or so employees last year, but the number of employees soared to more than 200 earlier this year. Seventy-five percent of the workers have been hired in Korea, ranging from high-ranking executives in charge of marketing in relation to mobile carriers to R&D personnel.
Recently, a Huawei Korea executive from Ericsson-LG was subject to a police investigation for stealing LTE-A technology from a Korean company. This news has caused Korean telecoms equipment manufacturers to become more nervous about Huawei Korea’s scouting activities. They are claiming that the giant’s unfair competition practices will lead to tech leaks and brain drain to compromise the competitiveness of the smaller players in Korea.