Huawei is looking into entering the electric vehicle (EV) market with its own brand and “could launch some models this year,” four sources told Reuters.
The move is a “strategic shift,” they said as the Chinese telecommunications equipment major looks to offset the impact from sanctions imposed by the United States.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
Huawei is in discussions with Changan Automobile and others to use their manufacturing plants to produce its EVs, two sources added. Changan is a state-owned automaker.
Besides its own EV models, the company is also in talks to manufacture the EVs of BluePark New Energy Technology (BAIC Group), three sources, including one with direct involvement, said.
The development comes nearly two years after the US imposed sanctions on Huawei, cutting off its key supply chains and forcing it to offload part of its smartphone business to preserve the brand, the report noted.
The then Donald Trump-led administration had singled out the company over national security concerns and executives do not expect President Joe Biden to reverse the decision.
A Huawei spokesperson denied this saying it is “not a car manufacturer.” But added the company aims “to be digital car-oriented and new-added components provider, enabling car original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to build better vehicles through information and communications technology (ICT).”
Three sources however told Reuters plan is to launch “as early as this year” and that the company has begun internally designing EVs and is reaching out to suppliers in China. Another source said the EVs “will target a mass-market segment.”
Changan and BAIC BluePark did not respond to queries, as per the report.Huawei’s move in this direction comes after similar steps by Amazon, Alphabet, Baidu, and Foxconn.