Last January, Li Hongyuan, a Huawei employee of 13 years, was arrested on extortion charges and detained until August, when he was released because of unclear criminal facts and insufficient evidence, according to court documents posted online by Li.
According to Li, 35, he had negotiated termination compensation of about 300,000 yuan (33,000), which was transferred to him through a secretarys private account. The case has caused a wave of criticism over the companys treatment of a longtime employee. Huawei has not confirmed the lawsuit nor commented on the allegations.
On the social network Weibo, users were posting the numbers 985, 996, 035, 251 a riff on the 996 culture of Chinese technology companies of working 9am to 9pm, six days a week.
In the case of Li, the numbers refer to graduating from one of the countrys 985 top universities, being fired at the age of 35, detained for 251 days. The code was trending on Weibo on Monday.
In an open letter addressed to the Huawei founder, Ren Zhengfei, Li wrote: It wasnt my intention to cause so much attention online and I am sorry about it. Also, I dont regret my choice for speaking the truth. There is always a cost to being honest.
In regards to my detention, my father was shocked and passed away, and my child was scared, he added. I hope I can take some of your time for a cup of coffee.
The criticism from within China is rare for Huawei, one of the most popular brands within the country and a symbol of national pride.