Geely-Backed Firm to Buy Most of Chinese Mobile Phone Maker Meizu
Tang Liuyang
DATE:  Jun 13 2022
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Geely-Backed Firm to Buy Most of Chinese Mobile Phone Maker Meizu Geely-Backed Firm to Buy Most of Chinese Mobile Phone Maker Meizu

(Yicai Global) June 13 -- A company affiliated with automaker Geely Holding Group has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Chinese smartphone producer Meizu Technology, the country’s market regulator said.

Xingji Shidai Technology will buy just over 79 percent of Meizu, according to a statement issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation today, without providing further details of the agreement.

An executive at Zhuhai-based Meizu confirmed to Yicai Global that the two sides have signed a deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, while some details are still being ironed out.

Hubei province-based Xingji Shidai, in which Geely's billionaire founder Li Shufu owns 55 percent, was launched last year by Geely Chairman Eric Li and marked the first-ever foray by a traditional Chinese automaker into the mobile phone sector.

In the smart electric vehicle era, cars are becoming information technology products. Buying a handset producer is essentially a scramble for software- and technology-related talent, the founder of an auto tech firm told Yicai Global.

It also helps carmakers move up the consumer electronics value chain and get involved in more advanced technologies, the person noted.

Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio also plans to produce mobile phones. Founder Li Bin said in a recent media interview that the company will launch handsets in the near future to match with its EVs.

Set up in 2003, Meizu launched the first China-made smartphone in 2009. Its annual shipments hit about 20 million units from 2015 to 2017, but that plummeted to 9.48 million in 2018, when it stopped publishing data.

Founder Huang Xiuzhang and Taobao China own just over 49 percent and 27 percent of the firm, respectively. Following the deal, Huang’s stake will fall to about 9.8 percent, while Taobao China will exit.

Editors: Xu Wei, Peter Thomas

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Keywords:   Geely,Mobile,Meizu Technology Co