PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-July2019

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92 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2019 one hour from our hotel, Jermin shared that Huawei was in the process of building a new facility there. Songshan Lake is a pretty large area. We drove for a while, admiring the views from the car and looking for a place to park. At one point, the design of the buildings changed no- tably to a very European style that reminded me of Germany. We drove further, and the de- sign changed a little and became a little more French and then Tuscan. Jermin told us that all of this European-style development was owned by Huawei (Figure 1). The sheer scale of the development and the quality of the en- vironment being created was staggering. I am not super confident about the figures I was giv- en, but I was told that 20,000 Huawei workers have transferred to this site so far. The amount of construction currently underway suggests the final figure will be a multiple of this num- ber. It was impossible to guess the purpose of each building, and I am sure some of the structures are more industrial than they appear from the outside, but at a glance, we could have been in Europe. An example of this was a building that appeared to resemble a church (Figure 2). We proceeded with our plan for a gentle cy- cle ride around the lake. My wife Linda is not a cyclist, and a little persuasion was needed to get her on the back of a tandem we hired from a local kiosk. I am glad the path was pretty lev- el because there was not much added power coming from the pedals at the rear. Every wob- ble was accompanied by a little shriek from behind my left ear and smiles and laughs from the locals who were happy to stop and watch us make our precarious progress. The whole area is pretty idyllic and rivals most of the parks I have visited in Europe. If I had to make a comparison, I would proba- bly pick Bourneville, which is near Birming- ham in the U.K. John Cadbury, a Quaker and philanthropist in the mid-19 th century, built a "model village" to house his workers and carry out his business of confectionery manufactur- ing. His primary consideration was the health and well-being of his workforce. Cadbury is still a world-renowned name today after more than 100 years. This long-term success may be at least in part due to the way the compa- ny looked after their workers. There are defi- nite parallels with the Huawei development at Songshan Lake, although the latter dwarfs the scale of the former by a considerable amount (perhaps 50,000+ residents compared to around 1,000 in Bournville). The Songshan de- velopment is undoubt- edly a very attractive place to live and work. There were plenty of people relaxing and enjoying the fresh air and fine weather and well-maintained landscaped gardens. The landscaping and planting are quite beautiful, and the fa- cilities look like they have been very well thought through. Fur- Figure 2: The church.

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