Eric Xu, Huawei’s deputy chairman, said the company “will invest more than $1 billion on car component development this year,” Bloomberg reported on Monday (April 12). Xu, who is one of the company’s rotating chairmen, said that “China adds 30 million cars each year and the number is growing. Even if we don’t tap the market outside of China … that’s already a very big business for Huawei.”
The $1 billion investment covers both self-driving and electric car technologies. Bloomberg reported that Xu, who spoke with analysts in Shenzhen, China, claimed that Huawei’s tech already laps Tesla in terms of distance, and that his company’s tech allows cars to go more than 621 miles without human intervention.
Huawei, a Chinese multinational firm headquartered in Shenzhen, is best known for its telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics. The company became a target of former President Trump, who believed it could act as a Chinese government spy. His administration ordered U.S. companies to halt sales to Huawei, which cut into the company’s sales, including smartphones and 5G telecom equipment. The Biden administration has not shown an interest in lessening the sanctions.
Huawei’s new automobile initiative can be seen as part of an effort to branch out into new areas for spurring on profits. As part of the new program, the telecom giant will initially team up with three automakers to manufacture self-driving cars that will have Huawei’s name as a sub-brand. So far, Huawei is teaming up with BAIC Group, Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. That is similar to Intel Corp., which gets its own logo onto some cars that use its autonomous driving technology.
Sales of electric vehicles in China may rise more than 50 percent this year alone, per estimates from research firm Canalys.
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