The already crowded smartphone market is getting another major player. According to Reuters, Chinese automaker Geely is entering the smartphone business after acquiring close to 80% stake in tech brand Meizu through its subsidiary Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology.
In an official statement, Geely said that the two companies will work together on the development of mobile devices but that Meizu will continue operating as an independent brand. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
“We aim to offer our common users a multiple-terminal, all-scenario, immersive experience,” said Geely founder Li Shuf. “Stepping into the phone-making sector, we can achieve great synergy effects with our car-making business.”
Geely unveiled plans to enter the smartphone business in 2021 by establishing Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology. At the time, the company planned to develop and produce premium smartphones. The plan was to present the company’s first phone at some point in 2023. It remains to be seen whether this timeline is still on after the acquisition of Meizu.
Meizu initially produced MP3 and MP4 players but ventured into smartphones in 2008. While the brand failed to make significant noise in the rest of the world, it gained popularity in China and Asia, where it sold 20 million units in 2015 alone.
Geely is one of the biggest automakers in China. The company sold 2.2 million cars last year and is aggressively expanding to electric vehicles.