Geely Buys Majority Stake of Meizu: What are the Automakers Plans?

Geely Buys Majority Stake of Meizu: What are the Automakers Plans?

After being in talks for several months, Chinese automaker Geely finally completes its deal to acquire Meizu. The deal was confirmed in several reports that Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology Co. Ltd., Geely’s company that’s focused on smartphone development, acquired a majority stake from two of Meizu’s stakeholders.

While it has established itself in cars, having brands like Volvo, Polestar, and Lotus under its belt, Geely has plans of expanding its business into smartphones, and plans to launch its first premium offering by 2023.

In a statement sent to Reuter,s Geely said that there was a “close connection in technologies” between vehicle cockpits and smartphone software, explaining the strategic investment partnership with Meizu.

Despite being in the smartphone industry since 2003, Meizu has since lost ground to rivals like Xiaomi and OPPO in later years. Its most recent offering, the Meizu 18 series, is a premium flagship phone with an OS that’s close to stock Android but failed to impress the local market.

Meizu has been an ailing brand despite a planned strategic partnership with Sony to make select Flyme apps available to Xperia phones in China. Based on the latest data, Meizu is shipping under a million phone units per year, which is a far cry of its peak market share of 20 million units several years ago. It also didn’t help that Alibaba tried to buy a minority stake in Meizu back in 2015, as this led to Alibaba receiving an antitrust fine of CNY 500,000 last year.

The move is a smart one for Geely, as the acquisition means that they will own Meizu’s Flyme For Car system, allowing it to further improve software integration not just in its cars but also in its upcoming smartphones.

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