The logo of Chinese car maker Geely Automobile.
Zhang Peng | Getty Images
Guangzhou, China — Chinese car maker Geely Holding has entered the smartphone business after its founder founded a new company.
Hubei Xinji Stone University Technology Co., Ltd., founded by Eric Lee, has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Wuhan National Economic and Technological Development Zone to manufacture mobile phones, according to Giri Mata.
Headquartered in Wuhan, the company will focus on “integrating global technologies and resources to develop premium smart devices, including smartphones, for global consumers,” Geely said in a press release.
Geely’s entry into smartphones highlights automakers’ willingness to open up new fields when they see the company challenge satellites and flying cars.
According to research firm Canalys, smartphone shipments in China fell 17% year-on-year in the second quarter of this year. Global shipments increased by more than 13%, according to IDC data.
Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo have sought to surge in customers as Huawei’s market share declined due to US sanctions.
Geely is entering the bottom market and has the potential to face off against Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi and others in the premium smartphone categories.
The company hasn’t disclosed details about the phone brand or when it will go on sale, but said smartphones will complement the automotive business.
Li said mobile phones and devices can act “as a way to better automotive applications.”
“There is a close relationship between technology in the intelligent vehicle cockpit and smartphone software technology. The main trend going forward is to create a cross-border user ecosystem, making it more convenient, smarter and seamlessly connected. It’s about providing users with a multi-screen experience, “he added.