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A glimpse into Huawei's new $1.5bn ‘simulated Europe’ campus for employees

A glimpse into Huawei's new $1.5bn ‘simulated Europe’ campus for employees
The new campus of the Chinese tech-giant Huawei features 12 towns which are designed as miniature replicas of European cities, including Paris, Oxford and Verona, all connected by a one-way electric tram.

While the United States pushes its European allies to cut the Chinese cellphone manufacturer out of the 5G market, the company has come up with an innovative solution: building their own Europe.

Huawei’s “Ox Horn” campus is being constructed on the outskirts of metropolitan Shenzen, where the company’s corporate headquarters is currently located. The copycat European facility aims to develop employee creativity and provide them with respite from the atmosphere of China’s crowded skyscraper-dominated megacities, according to a company blog post.

The 108 buildings at the center of the 1.4-million square meter territory were completed within four years, and already house the majority of the 25,000 employees expected to eventually reside there full-time.

This ‘escape from big-city life,’ however, might also be described as seclusion – there is only one rail-line in to the facility, and traffic on the territory is circular. No major roads pass through, leaving residents with the option of the tram, small electric buses or going by foot.

Like Disney World parks, the facility is all-inclusive and features on-site entertainment, shopping centers and cafes. One significant difference, however, is that Ox Horn is closed to anyone but authorized personal and their approved guests.

The faux-European atmosphere is complete with artificially constructed lakes and rivers, along with reproductions of famous landmarks. The Oxford region simulates the atmosphere of city’s elite university, and of course mini-Germany wouldn’t be complete without a full-scale replica of Heidelberg castle.

While Huawei employees at the new research facility sip lattes on a facsimile Parisian Boulevard, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng is still facing extradition from Canada to the US on charges of fraud. On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang accused the United States of attempting to strangle their market competition with state power.

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