Heavily hit by the American sanctions weighing against it, Huawei has decided to change course: the Chinese giant will now focus on software to the detriment of hardware.
Since 2019, the United States and China have clashed in a merciless trade war, pushing Donald Trump to impose significant sanctions against Huawei, considered a threat to the country’s national security. These measures are having a big impact on Huawei’s performance: its smartphone sales have plummeted around the world, while many allied countries of the United States have put it aside for the installation of their 5G equipment.
What legal framework for artificial intelligence in Europe?
The firm understood that it had to review its plans for the future and was quick to let it be known. It has thus announced that it is investing more than $ 1 billion in autonomous driving by developing its own system which will be fitted to vehicles. Last week, a subsidiary of the automobile manufacturer BAIC Group called Arcfox presented a car equipped with Huawei technology. The vehicle runs on HarmonyOS, the operating system made in Huawei, and has autonomous driving features.
In addition to the automotive industry, Huawei is also relying heavily on cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Its CEO, Ren Zhengfei, had also told his employees that they should focus on these growing sectors in 2021. In a press statement this Sunday, April 25, Huawei explains that these areas should help it to compensate for the losses resulting from its hardware divisions. Thus, the firm has just launched new cloud tools with one goal in mind: to get closer, or even come to compete very closely, the number 1 cloud in China, Alibaba.
Asked by CNBC, Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research, assures that by taking this path, “Huawei is becoming more and more like Google”. Indeed, like Android, HarmonyOS is designed to operate on different kinds of devices, ranging from television, to smartphones and cars. In addition, this restructuring is a way for the Chinese giant to thwart the plans of the United States and possible sanctions of Joe Biden.
Huawei’s project does not promise to be easy, however, especially as the firm arrives on land already well occupied with autonomous driving. While Baidu already has its own system, and also plans to launch its electric vehicle, Xiaomi, Huawei’s big rival, recently announced a major investment in the automotive sector.