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Chinese automaker Geely will be launching premium smartphones soon!

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Geely Holding will be venturing into the smartphone business after its founder Eric Li set up a new company.
Chinese automaker Geely will be launching premium smartphones soon!
One of the offices of Geely in China (Photo from Geely PH)

High-end smartphones that match Geely's luxury cars?

According to the Chinese car manufacturer, Li has established Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology Co Ltd to produce smartphones, thus entering the tight competition among existing brands like Samsung, Apple, and Xiaomi. Based on public records, Eric Li (also known as Li Shufu) owns 55 percent of the company.

The new company has inked a deal to set up its main office in headquarters in the central city of Wuhan. Allegedly, this is where it will develop smart devices including smartphones. 

Geely had a press release declaring that Xingji Shidai targets to position itself in the high-end segment of the smartphone market worldwide. Li adds in the statement,

There is a close connection in technologies within intelligent vehicle cockpits and smartphone technologies. The major trend in the coming future is to create user ecosystems across borders and provide users with a more convenient, smarter, and seamlessly connected multi-screen experience.

Head of Shanghai-based consultancy AutoForesight Yale Zhang thought that Li's move was surprising. He said that Geely would be the first carmaker in China if not globally to enter the smartphone market. Also, he stated that possible logic could be the synergy between the phone ecosystem and car system in the future.

Aside from that, Will Wong from research firm IDC explained that Geely's brand recognition in China could be its advantage in the premium market.

The Chinese automaker has not disclosed any information about the branding of the phones or when they might release them. However, it noted that smartphones complement its automobile business. Li said mobile phones and devices can act "as a pathway to greater automotive applications".

What do you think?

Sources: Nikkei Asia, CNBC
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