The Chinese Huawei group is preparing for long-lasting US sanctions and is increasingly focusing on new business areas such as self-driving cars. This year alone, more than one billion US dollars, around 840 million euros, will be invested in the development of robot car technology, Huawei CEO Eric Xu said on Monday.
At the same time, Huawei is sticking to the decision made in 2018 not to build its own car, but to act as a partner to selected manufacturers, he emphasized. So far, there are agreements with three Chinese companies that want to bring sub-brands with Huawei technology on board to the market. A logo – “Huawei Inside” – will indicate that the jointly developed car contains technology for autonomous driving by Huawei.
There will be only a few such collaborations, said Eric Xu. At the same time, the investment will pay off for Huawei, even if you limit yourself to the Chinese home market with currently 30 million vehicles sold per year.
Turning to US sanctions, Xu said Huawei’s strategy is designed to survive and grow regardless of Washington’s policies. Huawei expects to be on the US government’s blacklist for a long time to come.
The then US President Donald Trump had imposed sanctions on the Chinese smartphone provider and network supplier in 2019 – and extended the measures to the chip area last year. As a result, Huawei lost access to important technologies from the West.
Since the group cannot sell new smartphones with Google services, sales of the devices outside of China have crashed. Huawei responded to the chip blockade with inventory purchases, which experts believe contributed to the current global semiconductor shortage. Eric Xu blamed the US sanctions for the bottlenecks on Monday.
Trump justified his measures with the danger of espionage and sabotage by Huawei, the company rejects the allegations. The new US President Joe Biden put Trump’s China measures to the test, but so far there has been no evidence that the sanctions against Huawei could be lifted.