Huawei denied reports stating it planned to produce own-brand vehicles with a partner in China, instead noting an intention to develop components for the automotive industry.

In a statement responding to a Reuters’ report claiming it was working on branded electric vehicles (EVs), Huawei explained: “We are not a car manufacturer, yet through ICT, Huawei aims to be a digital car oriented…components provider”.

It added its “strategy did not change”, reacting to other reports speculating it is moving away from consumer electronics after US trade sanctions began to bite, limiting its access to components and software and apparently motivating a sale of its Honor smartphone assets.

Huawei’s smartphone sales dropped 41.1 per cent year-on-year in Q4 2020, with its global ranking falling from third to fifth place, Gartner data showed.

Sources told Reuters Huawei held talks with state-owned Changan Automobile and other automakers including BAIC Group’s BluePark New Energy Technology about using their facilities to make EVs.

Patent applications
Huawei said its work in the field would enable “car OEMs to build better vehicles”. It recently filed a number of patent applications with China’s National Intellectual Property Administration related to EV charging, extending the life of batteries, security and braking, Gasgoo Auto News reported.

The connected car and EV sectors are heating up with many tech companies moving to align with carmakers.

In January, Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, announced it will establish a venture with China-based Geely to provide OEM and customised services for automakers and taxi app companies.

And Apple had been tipped to be in talks with South Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai Motor Company over developing an autonomous EV, though the latter pair reportedly said talks had ended.