SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Huawei Technologies is partnering with more legacy automakers to produce Aito-branded electric cars, the company’s senior executive said on Saturday, in a move to expand its presence in the auto industry.
Huawei will team up with Chery Automobile, BAIC Motor and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group in jointly developing and manufacturing Aito-branded vehicles, Richard Yu, Huawei’s Smart Car CEO, said at the China EV 100 forum in Beijing.
Huawei, which has already a partnership with Seres Group to make Aito cars, plans a series of models including SUVs, sedans and multipurpose vehicles under the Aito brand, Yu added.
“We’d like to fully use the automakers’ resources of production capacity,” Yu said.
Seres sold a total of 80,000 Aito cars featuring Huawei’s HarmonyOS system – developed by the company as an alternative to Android – in 2022, up more than six times from a year ago, according to company filings.
Huawei’s Chairman Eric Xu reiterated at a press conference on Friday that the company doesn’t make cars on its own but only helps other automakers make better vehicles.
Huawei has been hit by a series of export controls by Washington which says it is a security risk, which the company denies. The sanctions have blocked Huawei from buying key components as well as from using Google’s Android operating system.
The sanctions have also affected Huawei’s partnerships with global automakers, who have given up using Huawei’s vehicle connectivity technologies in the past two years, Yu said on Saturday.
Tension with the U.S. saw Meng detained for three years in Canada over alleged efforts to cover up attempts by Huawei-linked companies to sell equipment to Iran in breach of U.S. sanctions.
(Reporting by Zhang Yan, Zhuzhu Cui and Brenda Goh; Editing by David Holmes)