Chinese language automaker Geely is beginning a high-end smartphone enterprise
Logo of the Chinese automaker Geely Auto.
Zhang Peng | Getty Images
GUANGZHOU, China – Chinese automaker Geely Holding is entering the smartphone business after its founder founded a new company.
According to Geely, Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology Co. Ltd., founded by Eric Li, has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Wuhan Economic and Technology Development Zone to manufacture mobile phones.
The company will be headquartered in Wuhan and focus on “integrating global technology and resources to create high quality smart devices including smartphones for global consumers,” Geely said in a press release.
Geely’s move into smartphones underscores the automaker’s drive to open up new areas where the company is advancing into satellites and flying cars.
China’s smartphone shipments fell 17% year over year in the second quarter of this year, according to research firm Canalys. Worldwide shipments increased by more than 13%, IDC data shows.
With Huawei’s market share falling due to US sanctions, Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo tried to attract customers.
Geely is entering a predatory market and could compete against companies such as Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi in the premium smartphone category.
Read more about China from CNBC Pro
The company hasn’t released details about the phones’ branding or launch timing, but said smartphones are complementary to its automotive business.
Li said cell phones and devices can “serve as a route to larger automotive applications.”
“There is a close connection between technologies within intelligent vehicle cockpits and smartphone software technologies. The most important trend in the coming future is to create user ecosystems across borders and provide users with a more convenient, smarter and seamlessly connected multi-screen experience, ”he added.