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Chinese automaker Geely launches a high-end smartphone business


Logo of Chinese automaker Geely Auto.

Zhang Peng | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese automaker Geely Holding is jumping into the smartphone business after its founder set up a new company.

Geely reports that Eric Li founded Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology Co. Ltd. The agreement was for strategic cooperation with Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone to produce mobile phones.

Geely announced that the company will have its headquarters in Wuhan. The company’s focus will be on “integrating international technologies and resources to create premium smart devices, including smartphones for global consumers.”

Geely’s entrance into smartphones highlights Geely’s desire to explore new markets, which led the automaker to venture into satellites or flying cars.

According to Canalys research, China’s smartphone sales fell 17% in the second quarter. IDC data indicates that global shipments increased by more than 13%.

As Huawei’s market share declined due to U.S. sanctions, Chinese rivals like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo looked to snap up customers.

Geely is entering a cut-throat market and could face off against the likes of Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi in the premium smartphone category.

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The company has not given details about the branding of the phones or when they might launch but said that smartphones compliment its automobile business.

Li stated that mobile phones and other devices could be used “as a way to access greater applications in automotive.”

Li said that there is a strong connection between smartphone technology and technologies inside intelligent vehicle cockpits. He said that the future trend is to build user ecosystems and offer multi-screen experiences across multiple screens, which will be more efficient, intelligent, and seamless connected.