Huawei will invest $1 billion in its automotive business in 2021, with a focus on building components for smart vehicles, including self-driving software platforms, said Huawei's Rotating Chairman Eric Xu at the 18th Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen on Monday.
Having began research and development into connected and autonomous car systems in 2012, Huawei's autonomous-driving technology has already surpassed Tesla's in some spheres, for instance by allowing cars to cruise for over 1,000 kilometers without human intervention, Xu said at the event, Bloomberg reported.
The biggest breakthrough and opportunities for the next decade will be in the automotive industry, he added, as China adds 30 million cars each year and the number is growing. Even if Huawei does not tap the market outside of China, the company could earn an average 10,000 yuan from each car sold in China - that is already a very big business for Huawei, NIKKEI Asia cited Xu's remarks.
However, instead of building and assembling cars itself, as domestic smartphone rival Xiaomi recently announced, Xu said Huawei will help car makers to optimize car production, by providing its self-driving technology to several car makers including Gac Group and Great Wall Motor.
Xu also confirmed that Huawei has partnered with luxury electric vehicle maker Arcfox of Beijing Automotive Group and will demonstrate its autonomous driving technology in Shanghai this Saturday.
The three automakers will make self-driving cars that carry the Huawei name as a sub-brand, he added.
Huawei is piling into an already crowded pool, where automakers from U.S. leading firm Tesla to China's domestic upstarts Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto are battling for a slice of the world's biggest electric vehicle (EV) market.
Last month, Chinese handset maker Xiaomi also unveiled plans to invest about $10 billion over the next decade on manufacturing electric cars.
Search giant Baidu and Geely Automobile Holdings also announced to build EVs together. For their joint company, Baidu will provide intelligent driving capabilities to power the passenger vehicles, while Geely will contribute its expertise in automobile design and manufacturing.