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Huawei Seeks Stake Sales to Audi and Mercedes for Smart Car IPO

Published: 12.12.2023

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has approached Audi and Mercedes-Benz with the proposition of acquiring stakes in its smart car operation, according to a report by Reuters. This move comes as Huawei seeks to expand its smart car business beyond the Chinese market in preparation for an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the division at as much as $35 billion.

Both Audi and Mercedes declined to comment on the report, as did Huawei. However, the move would represent a significant step for Huawei's ambitions in the automotive industry. The company has been steadily increasing its investments in smart car technology in recent years, developing self-driving car systems, electric vehicle platforms, and other technologies.

Huawei's desire to expand beyond China is likely driven by the increasing competition in the domestic smart car market. Established players like BYD and Geely, as well as newer entrants like Xiaomi and Alibaba, are all vying for a share of the market. By partnering with established global brands like Audi and Mercedes, Huawei could gain access to new markets and technologies, as well as boost its brand recognition.

However, Huawei's ambitions face potential challenges due to ongoing geopolitical tensions between the United States and China. Since 2017, the US government has imposed sanctions on Huawei, citing concerns that the company's technology could be used for spying by the Chinese government. These sanctions have limited Huawei's access to certain technologies and markets, and could potentially complicate its plans for a global smart car business.

Despite these challenges, Huawei's move to seek investment from Audi and Mercedes suggests that the company remains committed to its smart car ambitions. With its vast resources and technological expertise, Huawei has the potential to become a major player in the global automotive industry. However, the company's success will likely depend on its ability to navigate the complex geopolitical landscape and overcome the challenges posed by the US sanctions.

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