Richard Yu, the man who turned Huawei into a leader in the consumer electronics business, will be in charge of the company’s smart-car solutions unit while also giving up on the CEO role of the cloud group.
Yu joining the car push shows just how important this particular strategy is for Huawei in the long term, especially as its phone unit is still struggling with sanctions imposed in the United States. Huawei is one of the companies on the United States Entity List and is therefore blocked from working with American partners and using their products, be they software or hardware.
As a result, Huawei can no longer use the licensed version of Android and Google services on its smartphones. That has caused a major drop in global sales in the last quarter.
Huawei, however, is now moving its attention to the car market, where it plans to compete against other tech giants expanding this direction. Xiaomi has already announced that it plans to invest $10 billion in creating an EV, while Apple is also hard at work on finalizing its electric car development, with the company hoping for a release in 2024 or 2025 at the earliest.
Huawei is ready to spend no less than $1 billion for smart auto tech this year alone, with Yu himself recently admitting that moving to cars is a way to offset the profit decline from smartphones, mostly caused by the U.S. sanctions.