Huawei Could Acquire Automakers

The sanctions-hammered tech giant is apparently moving in a new direction.

Huawei is one of the world’s most prominent consumer electronics and telecommunications companies.

It’s also the first global tech giant to emerge from China — a fact that put a target on its back from governments wary of Beijing’s influence and motives. The U.S., in particular, imposed sanctions that prevented the company form using U.S.-made technology — including Google’s Android platform — and put pressure on its allies to look elsewhere for high-tech telecom gear.

With its global market share in jeopardy, Huawei has increased its focus on the Chinese market, but it’s also apparently looking for other revenue options. The company recently announced plans to supply vehicle operating systems to three Chinese automakers, but it reportedly has even more interest in the automotive sector.

Reuters, citing people with knowledge of the matter, reports that Huawei is in talks to assume control of a pair of Chinese electric vehicle operations. In one series of talks, the company hopes to take over ArcFox, an electric vehicle brand owned by BAIC Group — which is reportedly more interested in limiting Huawei to a minority stake.

Under the other discussion, however, Huawei would acquire a controlling stake in the electric vehicle division of Chinese automaker Chongqing Sokon. The latter deal would reportedly allow Huawei to make finished vehicles bearing its own brand name — and would mark a significant shift in strategy for the company.

The deal, which could be completed this summer, also stands to potentially affect the auto market stateside: Sokon’s signature asset, according to Reuters, is its U.S. brand Seres, formerly known as SF Motors.

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