Huawei selling Honor phone brand in face of US sanctions

Huawei selling Honor phone brand in face of US sanctions
Chinese smartphone brand Honor’s sale price was as $15 billion. (AP)
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Updated 17 November 2020

Huawei selling Honor phone brand in face of US sanctions

Huawei selling Honor phone brand in face of US sanctions
  • ‘The move has been made by Honor’s industry chain to ensure its own survival’
  • Huawei says it has removed US components from its core products

BEIJING: Chinese tech giant Huawei is selling its budget-price Honor smartphone brand in an effort to rescue the struggling business from damaging US sanctions imposed on its parent company.
The move announced Tuesday is aimed at reviving Honor by separating it from Huawei’s network equipment business, which Washington says is a security threat, an accusation Huawei denies. It is under sanctions that block access to most US processor chips and other technology.
Huawei Technologies’s announcement gave no financial details but said the company will have no ownership stake once the sale is completed. Huawei will retain its flagship Huawei smartphone brand.
The buyer is a state-owned company in Shenzhen, the southern city where Huawei is headquartered, and a group of Honor retailers. Earlier news reports on rumors of a possible sale put the price as high as $15 billion.
“The move has been made by Honor’s industry chain to ensure its own survival,” said the Huawei statement. The buyers said in a separate statement the split was “the best solution” to protect customers and employees.
Huawei, China’s first global tech brand and the biggest maker of switching equipment used by phone and Internet companies, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology, security and spying. The feud has spread to include the popular Chinese-owned video app TikTok and messaging service WeChat.
Tuesday’s announcements gave no indication how Honor planned to regain access to US chips and other technology including Google’s popular music, maps and other services. Other Chinese smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo operate without such restrictions.
“In theory, Honor would be like any other Chinese OEM (manufacturer),” said Kiranjeet Kaur of IDC in an email. However, he said Honor needs time to restore access to suppliers and set up its own research and development.
“The challenge remains how quickly it detaches itself from its dependence on Huawei and gets access to all the relevant tech,” said Kaur.
US security complaints focus on Huawei’s network gear and leading role in next-generation telecom technology.
American officials say Huawei might facilitate Chinese spying, which the company denies. They also see Chinese government-supported technology development as a threat to US industrial dominance. The Trump administration is lobbying European and other allies to exclude Huawei and other Chinese suppliers as they upgrade networks.
Meanwhile, Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, is under arrest in Canada and fighting extradition to the United States to face charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.
Sanctions imposed last year block Huawei’s access to most US processor chips and other technology. Those were tightened in May when the White House barred manufacturers worldwide from using US technology to produce chips for Huawei, including those designed by its own engineers.
The buyer is Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co. It was founded by Shenzhen Smart City Technology Development Group Co., which was formed by the city government to develop information technology infrastructure.
The Smart City company owns 98.6 percent of Zhixin, according to Aiqicha, a financial information service of search engine Baidu, Inc. The buyers’ statement said the rest of the 40-member investment group includes Honor retailers.
Honor, founded in 2013, is one of the world’s biggest-selling smartphone brands. Huawei says it ships 70 million handsets a year.
Total shipments of Huawei and Honor handsets fell 5 percent from a year earlier in the quarter ending in June to 55.8 million, according to Canalys. Sales in China rose 8 percent but shipments abroad fell 27 percent.
Huawei reported earlier total revenue for the first nine months of 2020 rose 9.9 percent to $100.4 billion. That was down from 13.1 percent growth in the first half, but the company said it still was profitable.
Huawei’s smartphone sales outside China have suffered because the company is barred from preinstalling Google services, which many customers expect. Huawei is allowed to use Google’s Android operating system because it is open source and involves no commercial transaction with the American company.
Huawei says it has removed US components from its core products, but the president of its consumer unit, Richard Yu, warned in August the company was running out of chips for smartphones.


SABIC to begin construction of plastic recycling facility in the Netherlands

SABIC to begin construction of plastic recycling facility in the Netherlands
Updated 23 January 2021

SABIC to begin construction of plastic recycling facility in the Netherlands

SABIC to begin construction of plastic recycling facility in the Netherlands
  • The construction phase for the unit is expected to become operational in the second half of 2022
  • The project will be realized under a 50:50 joint venture

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) and Plastic Energy Ltd. announced plans to commence construction on the first commercial unit to produce its flagship certified circular polymers.

The construction phase for the unit, which will be located in the Netherlands, is expected to become operational in the second half of 2022.

The project will be realized under a 50:50 joint venture. It will be implemented with a top sector energy subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands.

The new unit will enable SABIC to significantly upscale the production of certified circular polymers to provide customers with greater access to sustainable materials which have been recycled, repurposed and produced in a way that can help protect our planet’s natural resources, while acting as a drop-in solution.