After weeks of speculation, Huawei has confirmed that it is selling off its budget smartphone brand, Honor in an attempt to salvage what’s left of its most famous line of smartphones. In a statement made through a local Shenzhen newspaper, the decision was announced that Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co. has signed an agreement with Huawei Investment and Holding Co. to acquire all business assets belonging to the Honor smartphone brand.
“This acquisition represents a market-driven investment made to save Honor’s industry chain. It is the best solution to protect the interests of Honor’s consumers, channel sellers, suppliers, partners and employees.” the announcement read.
According to the deal, after the transaction is completed, Huawei will not hold any shares in the Honor smartphone brand. It will not be involved in any of Honor’s decision-making and management, although, Honor’s current management team will continue to operate. The exact amount of the deal has not been disclosed yet, although, earlier speculations claimed that it would be around $15 billion.
The syndicate of state-backed companies led by Shenzhen Zhixin that has bought the Honor brand includes Shenzhen Smart City Technology Development Group, China Postal and Telecommunications Appliances, China Telling Telecom Co., Shenzhen Energy Group, Suning.com Group, Shenzhen Sundan Industry Co. and many others. Interestingly, Digital China, which was the frontrunner to buy Honor during the speculations has not been mentioned.
The move to sell Honor is aimed at supporting both Huawei and Honor brands. After receiving sanctions from the US government, Honor, which has a huge consumer base in America, suffered major losses. It lost major American chip and software partners such as Google’s Android’s support, which put the brand on the backfoot. Separation of Honor from Huawei’s name can possibly bring the budget smartphone brand back to the US, exempted from the sanctions. On the other hand, the capital raised from this deal will help Huawei further focus and develop its own premium segment smartphones.
The statement says that the acquisition will not make any changes to Honor’s existing development direction or the stability of its executive teams. Honor will continue to build on the foundation that it has laid as a smartphone brand even after the change in ownership.
The announcement further read, “The acquisition is a multi-win move for the industry. All shareholders of the new Honor company will fully support the development of the Honor brand, enabling it to leverage the industry’s advantages in resources, brands, production, channels, and services, and more effectively compete in the marketplace.”