Huawei launches smart-vehicles department in direct challenge to U.S. automakers


The Chinese tech giant is looking to sell cloud services, software for cars and on-board computers. “Automakers from China, Europe, Japan, and Korea are seeking help from ICT suppliers to take on the US players who are well ahead of their rivals in the intelligent vehicle market,” said founder Ren Zhengfei in a translated version of a statement initially circulated in Chinese. Meanwhile, Huawei is cutting back orders for smartphone production and selling off its undersea-cable business. (Technode, South China Morning Post)

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Talking point: Huawei already has partnerships with three Chinese auto firms: First Automotive, SIAC Works and Volvo, the last of which is owned by Chinese conglomerate Geely. The push into Europe, Japan and Korea puts Huawei on the path to compete with BlackBerry, whose connected car technology is one of its most important business lines. A big part of BlackBerry’s pitch is the security of its systems. That’s Huawei’s biggest weakness at the moment. U.S. security concerns over Huawei’s technology drove down phone sales—according to an analysis from research firm Canalys, global smartphone sales will be down by five per cent following the ban. Similarly, Huawei has had difficulty inking undersea-cable deals since the U.S. government raised concerns that the company was spying on behalf of the Chinese government.