(Noted News) — Reeling from years of US sanctions, Chinese electronics company Huawei now plans on manufacturing electric vehicles in an effort to expand and diversify its industrial reach.
According to sources at Reuters, the world’s largest mobile phone producer is exploring a “strategic shift” with Chinese government-owned Changan Automobile and other companies to produce their own Huawei electric cars sometime this year.
The mobile phone giant has also reportedly begun collaboration with BAIC Group’s BluePark New Energy Technology to manufacture its electric vehicles (EVs).
The entire plan will require Huawei to sell a portion of its mobile phone company via shares in order to raise enough capital to fund the new project.
A spokesman for Huawei refuted the basis of Reuter’s story, but did vaguely concede that the company was in some way getting into the car industry.
“Huawei is not a car manufacturer. However, through ICT (information and communications technology), we aim to be a digital car-oriented and new-added components provider, enabling car OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to build better vehicles.”
The sanctions that Huawei faced from the US were thought to be a “lethal blow” to the company, a crescendo to a dramatic diplomatic wrestling match between former president Donald Trump and the Chinese industry.
Washington deemed China’s industrial activities as “economic aggression” and a threat to national security. Canada also joined in on the narrative and arrested Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, who is also the daughter of the company’s founder. Additionally, countries in the EU foreshadowed their own sanctions against Huawei in an effort to prevent them from taking over the newly rolled out 5G networks. Officials in the Czech Republic declared Huawei a national security threat, a comment that Huawei ended up threatening a lawsuit over.
Huawei was then accused of violating US sanctions on Iran by selling them telecom equipment through their subsidiary Skycom. Ren Zhengfei, the company’s founder, said that this was a “live or die” moment, and hinted at cooking up new plans to save the company.
“If you cannot do the job, then make way for our tank to roll; And if you want to come on the battlefield, you can tie a rope around the ‘tank’ to pull it along, everyone needs this sort of determination!”
Sticking to Ren’s assertion, Huawei has formed partnerships with car companies like General Motors, SAIC Motor, and Daimler for the purpose of developing smart auto technologies, as well as hiring exponential numbers of new software engineers.
The Chinese tech giant has been awarded more than 4 EV-related patents in the last week, including one that contains technology for charging between electric vehicles and for monitoring battery health, according to Reuter’s tracking of public data on Chinese patents.
Dan Wang, a technology analyst from Gavekal Dragonomics said that the industry is far from shocked at Huawei’s new direction.
“The novel and complicated U.S. restrictions on semiconductors to Huawei have slowly been strangling the company. So it makes sense that the company is pivoting to less chip-intensive industries in order to maintain operations.”