Founding father of auto large Geely buys Meizu as smartphone demand weakens – TechCrunch

Bear in mind Meizu, the once-promising competitor to Xiaomi? The Alibaba-backed Chinese language smartphone maker is making a comeback — in a means — because it will get acquired by the founding father of Geely, China’s largest non-public automaker and Volvo’s father or mother comapny.

China’s smartphone business is notoriously aggressive. Based in 2003, Meizu has been making reasonably priced, stylish Android-based smartphones that allowed it to achieve transient moments of prominence at residence and overseas. As of late, the cellphone maker’s market share in China has been marginal — 1% in This fall 2019, based on market analysis agency Counterpoint.

However the agency is now taking one other shot as Xingji Expertise, a smartphone firm launched by Geely’s founder and chairman Eric Li final September, acquired a controlling stake of 79.09% from it.

Meizu will proceed to operae as an “unbiased model” following the strategic funding. Its founder Huang Zhang, often known as Jack Wong, might be concerned because the model’s “product technique advisor.”

The tie-up joins a raft of cellphone and auto makers working nearer collectively and betting on a future the place in-car management and handset working techniques are extra built-in. Final March, Xiaomi created a subsidiary to make electrical automobiles and pledged to spend $10 billion on the brand new enterprise within the upcoming years.

Within the extremely homogenous shopper machine market, Meizu and Xingji goal to construct “a multi-device, scenario-agnostic, and immersive” digital expertise. Xingji was based with a concentrate on premium smartphones, blended actuality and wearables.

It’s exhausting to be too excite about one other new cellphone model at a time world economic system is slowing down. Smartphone cargo worldwide is anticipated to stoop 3.5% this yr, based on market researcher IDC. And there’s ample competitors. The upcoming Nothing cellphone, spearheaded by OnePlus’s co-founder Carl Pei, vows to be totally different with refreshing designs and affordability, however its success will hinge on precise execution.

Xingji plans to launch its first cellphone mannequin by 2023 and promote 3 million items within the first yr, Reuters reported earlier. Taking up premium-phone leaders Apple and Huawei, in addition to aspiring gamers like Oppo, might be no small feat.

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