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May 22, 2021

As Changan Overtakes Geely In China Sales, They Look To Partner With Huawei On EVs, Chips

Changan Automobile, one of the so-called “big four” automakers in China is forming a partnership with technology giant Huawei. The partnership will include not just the development of “intelligent” EVs, but of automotive chips as well.

Huawei’s head of consumer electronics business Richard Yu will serve as the CEO of the new smart car solutions unit, signaling the importance the tech giant has placed on the automotive sector. Yu will not be relinquishing his responsibilities leading that division, however his focus going forward will likely be on recreating its success with the company’s smart car initiatives.

Huawei’s partnership with Changan and leading battery supplier CATL will create a “world-leading” platform for smart and connected EVs, and to build a rich portfolio of smart vehicle products, Changan said.

No details on products have been released yet, but it’s understood that Huawei will concentrate on the vehicle’s operating system, while Changan will be in charge of vehicle design and engineering.

Meanwhile, the two companies will also develop its own automotive chips. Stemming from the current chip shortage, this move represents a significant expansion for Huawei’s chip business which was hammered by U.S. trade sanctions against its smartphones.

Changan also surpassed Geely through April to become the largest domestic Chinese light-vehicle manufacturer, with sales of its own brands more than doubling to approach 474,000, according to the China Automobile Dealers Association.

Changan, based in Chongqing, China builds and markets sedans and crossovers under its own brands. It also runs a joint-venture with Ford and Mazda.

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