Geely Founder Buys Stake in Smartphone Brand Meizu

Chinese consumers are demanding more smart technology from their automobiles, favoring features like the ability to access mobile apps from the dashboard, which is why Geely is entering the smartphone market. It also occurs at a time when the smartphone market is struggling to expand, both in China and internationally.

Following the completion of its acquisition of a majority stake in smartphone brand Meizu, a company led by the founder of Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding declared on Monday that it will seek to disrupt the smartphone industry’s uniformity.

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In a statement released in June, China’s market regulator first made the public aware of the Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology Co Ltd. deal, which was announced by the company last year by Geely’s chairman Eric Li as part of the automaker’s push into premium cellphones.

Geely, a well-established Chinese automaker well-known outside for owning Volvo, is now one step closer to joining the fiercely competitive consumer hardware market thanks to the acquisition. Xingji Technology completed its purchase of a 79.09% stake in Meizu, the company said on Monday.

Meizu, a nearly two-decade-old Chinese consumer electronics company, rose to prominence early in the 1ast decade as an up-and-coming Chinese Android. However, it was bested by rivals and now occupies a marginal market share.

While Meizu will remain as an independent brand, they would look too closely to collaborate in areas such as software, they added. At a live-streamed news conference, Shen Ziyu, chairman of Meizu and vice chairman of Xingji Technology, said the firms believed they could successfully attract customers by offering differentiated products, particularly at the premium level.

“We’re from the car industry and overall car sales have been declining, but new energy vehicles are growing fast,” Shen said. Concerning smartphones, “there are very few choices at the high-end, and there are many choices at the low end, but the homogenization is very serious,” he added.

The companies’ also said that Meizu had differentiated itself with FlymeOS, its homegrown Android-based customization, and hopes to extend its software across a range of devices. They did not reveal the financial terms of the deal.

A portfolio of upcoming smartphones, mobile devices, and wearable smart gadgets that make use of extended reality technologies is also being developed, according to Xingji Technology. According to an internal letter, Xingji Technology hopes to launch its first smartphone by 2023 and sell 3 million units in its first year. This information was obtained by Reuters in September.

Huawei-spinoff Honor, which presently dominates the market, as well as Xiaomi Corp., Oppo, Vivo, and Apple, which has a devoted following in China, will be competitors of Xingji Technology.

Chinese consumers are demanding more smart technology from their automobiles, favoring features like the ability to access mobile apps from the dashboard, which is why Geely is entering the smartphone market. It also occurs at a time when the smartphone market is struggling to expand, both in China and internationally.

According to research firm Canalys, global smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2022 decreased 11% year over year, while exports to China decreased 17% during the same period.

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