Chinese Businesses Keep Trying to Lure South Korea’s Executives and Employees in Software Industry

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'Emergency of Leakage of Talented People by Chinese Businesses’ is becoming an issue again in South Korea’s ICT (Information Communication Technology) industry as Chinese businesses are targeting researchers, retired executives, and even high-ranking executives that are currently working.

As securing talented people is becoming more and more important, competition between businesses that are trying to lure and protect their employees is getting fiercer.

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According to an industry on the 7th, a high-ranking executive that is currently working in software (SW) field for a huge South Korean business received an offer from a Chinese communication device manufacturer about changing jobs. Although this attempt did not work as the CEO of this South Korean business had learned of such information and had persuaded this high-ranking executive that was considering about changing jobs as the negotiation was on the table, industries are paying sharp attention to a movement from this high-ranking executive because this is a rare incident where a Chinese business had actively tried to persuade a high-ranking executive from a prominent business.

“This is an incident that shows that Chinese businesses are now even going after high-ranking executives of South Korean businesses.” said a representative of an industry that is familiar with this business’s situations. “Conditions that Chinese businesses had offered are significant as people are considering about giving up consulting positions after retirement and changing jobs.” A different representative also said that the impact will be great to a South Korean industry if this executive, who has significant know-how in SW in communication field, decided to change jobs.

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Other huge South Korean business is in a deep discussion as many middle-ranking executives are leaving every month due to active persuasion from Google and Apple regardless of fields such as marketing, engineering and others. “Owner of an office desk is changing often recently.” said an employee of this business. “Google and Apple are actively asking employees who are in mid or late 30’s to change their jobs.”

Leakage of talented people from ICT industry is starting to take effect in other fields also. Not only is Chinese semiconductor industry is looking to lure talented people from SW field, but this leakage is happening from all over the place in SW field regardless of countries and positions. Safety devices such as ‘Prohibition in changing jobs within same industries’ and ‘Obligation to consult for many years after retirement’ that are stated in employment contract have lost their functions because employees can just leave South Korea after accepting excellent conditions in living, housing, welfare, education and others.

Unlike hardware (HW), talented people increase competitive edge in SW because most of know-how comes from talented people’s knowledge.

Competition in securing talented people has emerged as barometer of a business’s survival. Samsung verifies abilities of people regardless of their countries, sex, and positions and hires them based on a principle of ‘Nurturing Talented People’ that has continued from Lee Byung-chul who is the founder of Samsung to Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

Department Head (President) Chun Young-hyun, who used to work for LG Semiconductor, of Samsung Electronics’ Memory Business Department and CEO (President) Ko Han-seung, who used to work for American biotechnology business called Dyax, of Samsung BioEpis are prime examples. Executive Director Pio Schunker, who used to work for Coca-Cola, has been leading marketing of Samsung Electronics’ Smartphones in the U.S. since last year.

There are different cases as well. Huawei was able to strengthen its competitive edge in design of Smartphones and capture the number 1 title in Chinese Smartphone market after appointing Kim Jun-seo, who used to work for Samsung Electronics’ Wireless Business Department, as the president of Huawei’s Mobile Design Team. SK Hynix has been hiring executives that used to work for Samsung Electronics for its high-ranking executive positions since 2014 and has been strengthening its competitive edge.

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“An attempt by a Chinese national enterprise called Tsinghua Unigroup trying to buy SanDisk of the U.S. last year is an incident that shows Chinese businesses’ strategies to grasp competitive edge by securing talented people.” said an expert in electronic industry. “Not only does leakage of talented people have huge impact on high-tech semiconductor, display, LED and other manufacturers, but this also has huge impact on intangible assets.”

Staff Reporter Seo, Hyeongseok | hsseo@etnews.com

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