It may be the most impressive-looking tech campus in the world, and it doesn’t belong to Apple Inc.
, Amazon.com Inc.
or Alphabet Inc.’s
While those complexes are known for their sleek style, architectural quirks and even names (“Googleplex,” anyone?), Huawei Technologies Co. may have them all beat — if nothing else, at least in sheer scale.
The Chinese tech giant has made headlines of late as the target of the U.S. government, which claims its telecom equipment poses a national security threat. But most Americans don’t know much more about the company, and Western media has had little access to its facilities.
Besides making telecom equipment (it’s No. 1 in the world) and smartphones (No. 2 in the world, behind Samsung Electronics Co.
), Huawei has a massive research-and-development operation (one of its focuses is next-generation 5G wireless technology). And its newest complex — the 3.5-square-mile Ox Horn Research and Development campus in Dongguan, China, near Shenzhen — offers a stunning setting for some of the world’s most advanced technological research.
The Ox Horn campus, which is still under construction, will eventually hold 25,000 workers, and is designed with a classical European motif. It will consist of 12 “towns,” with names such as Paris, Verona and Bruges, and feature castles, plazas and Instagram-worthy vistas in a nod to the company’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, who was trained as an architect. It includes amenities familiar to American tech campuses — sculpted green landscapes, sports facilities, a library and art classes. The sprawling campus is connected by a tram system imported from Switzerland, and trains link it to other Huawei campuses, as well as worker housing.
Last month, Getty News photographer Kevin Frayer was given rare access to Ox Horn and other Huawei production and R&D facilities in and around its home city of Shenzhen, and took a series of photos documenting daily life there.