Phone business

Huawei bets more on cars as phone business declines

Wang Jun, president of Huawei’s IAS business unit, speaks at the launch of the new product in Shanghai on Sunday. Photo: courtesy of Huawei

Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co launched a series of smart car components and solutions on Sunday, including a 4D imaging radar, another foray into the vehicle sector that analysts say could help it to offset the impact of the US shutting down its mobile business – and perhaps also allow the company to compete with industry giants like Tesla.

Wang Jun, president of Huawei’s Intelligent Automotive Solution (IAS) business unit (BU), said at the launch event that Huawei will invest $1 billion in the development of intelligent vehicle solutions this year, with a global research team of more than 5,000 technicians and engineers.

Autonomous driving research is the key to IAS, and 2,000 researchers will be assigned to it, Wang said, adding that Huawei has more than 200 cooperative partners in the smart car industry.

The release came a day after Huawei and BAIC Motor Corp jointly launched ARCFOX Alpha S on Saturday, a new generation of smart luxury pure electric cars, which the company says will be the world’s only commuter autopilot cars produced. serial.

According to Huawei, the ARCFOX Alpha S offers “incredible” autonomous driving capabilities, even in complex traffic scenarios involving automobiles and non-motorized vehicles. A test-drive video showed the Alpha S avoiding an e-bike cutting into a nearby lane and passing the stretch of road smoothly without impeding other vehicles.

Huawei rotating chairman Xu Zhijun said last week that Huawei IAS could achieve fully autonomous driving in urban areas for trips of 1,000 kilometers. “It’s much better than Tesla,” Xu added.

Industry analysts said that for now, Huawei and Tesla each have their own strengths, although Huawei has the potential to come from behind.

Huawei has advantages in intelligent networking of autonomous vehicles, while Tesla has comprehensive advantages in self-driving technologies that work well in most cases, Cui Dongshu, general secretary of the China Passenger Car Association, said on Sunday. .

Compared to domestic Internet giants like Baidu or Xiaomi, which have announced their intention to build intelligent electric vehicles, Huawei’s strengths are its on-board control systems, powerful sensing mechanisms and the interaction between different parties, Cui noted.

Huawei also reiterated that it will not make cars itself, but only help automakers to make better vehicles.

However, Cui pointed out that the rise of IAS can hardly reverse the downward trend in Huawei’s net profit and revenue which was caused by the decline in smartphone production and sales, because the profit margin and size of the vehicle market are lower than those of the mobile. Telephone (s.

The Chinese tech giant’s ambitious foray into the new sector comes as Huawei’s smartphone business faces further decline due to the US chip ban. Huawei also looked at other revenue streams such as artificial intelligence (AI) technology that would be leased to pig farmers. Huawei also works with domestic coal miners.