Great story Junko, and thanks for including the photos. The photos really give the sense that a startup in China isn't necessarily so different from one in California -- except perhaps for the sleeping bag!
Sleeping and work around the clock is not an odd story in China. Many companies, not only startups, are having 8 to 10 working hours and informally 6 days work week (although legally they should all be regarded as 5 day workweek).
Another great article Junko! My hats off to you. The interesting part about the Chinese is the customer service...or rather customer devotion. What western society would term as an abusive customer relationship is actually taken in as a customer right. Make no mistake of it, customer is #1 is a way of life for most and however crazy the request is, will be performed with minimal questioning or resistance. The key here is do everything to get the customer hooked on you and your products ASAP.
I will agree. Even Chinese work at the same hours we do. Company could afford 2-3 engineers with the same pay here, which is equivalent to 2 to 3x more work of the same pay. Innovation is only way to keep us ahead. Without innovation, we are doomed.
Thanks, Frank. I actually really enjoyed visiting this company -- despite everyone spoke little English (Jiantang brought in a friend of his who speaks English), the company is full of energy and faith in "Huawei" way. Jiantang enthusiastically gave me the tour of the whole company (not big, but they just moved into a new office, which just happens to be across the street from ARM China). This reminded me how a startup CEO used to give me a tour in Silicon Valley.