Nov 17, 2020

Huawei offloads its mid-range Honor brand

US-China Trade War
Harry Menear
2 min
In an effort to keep the affordable smartphone subsidiary alive in the face of US sanctions, Huawei has sold its Honor smartphone unit
In an effort to keep the affordable smartphone subsidiary alive in the face of US sanctions, Huawei has sold its Honor smartphone unit...

As US sanctions continue to impact its supply chain, Huawei has reportedly finalised the sale of its budget and mid-range smartphone brand, Honor.

The deal, which was announced on Tuesday, will see the Chinese tech giant offload its Honor unit to a consortium of more than 30 agents and dealers. 

Huawei will retain no shares of the company in the hope that its divestiture will allow Honor to resume sourcing components from US companies, as well as other markets where Huawei’s operations have been restricted over the past few years. 

The consortium is making the purchase through a newly formed company, Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology. 

While the firm has not disclosed a figure for the sale, last week, Reuters reported on rumours that another consortium, Digital China, would pay a total of $15.2bn for the business. 

According to people familiar with the matter, the all-cash sale will include almost all of Honor’s assets, including brand, research & development capabilities and supply chain management. 

Huawei has since confirmed that Digital China was not involved in the final transaction, although the offered figure might point to the final purchase price and scope of the deal struck by Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology.

The move, according to Huawei’s statement, comes in the face of “tremendous pressure” due to the “persistent unavailability of technical elements” required for the manufacture of its smartphones. While Huawei has recently taken steps to take control of its own supply chain, building a dedicated semiconductor manufacturing facility in Shanghai, the plant’s output is likely to be focused on making chips to support the company’s 5G infrastructure efforts, leaving its smartphone business out in the cold

The increased cost and reduced supply of chips and other smartphone components from companies like Qualcomm will reportedly result in Huawei focusing its smartphone business more heavily on premium and enterprise devices. As a result, Honor, which has represented the company’s efforts to compete in the Chinese and international budget phone range, no longer fits into its strategy. 

“This move has been made by Honor’s industry chain to ensure its own survival,” Huawei said in a statement reported by Reuters. On Tuesday, another source told Reuters that the US government would have no reason to apply sanctions to Honor after it separates from Huawei.

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May 17, 2021

Legend: Mike Sievert - The Un-Carrier Approach to Innovation

2 min
From a distant third to a contender for the throne, T-Mobile’s rise can largely be traced back to the visionary strategic direction of Mike Sievert, the co

This is a time of sweeping, generational change for the telecommunications sector. Times like these call for bold disruptive leadership if enterprises expect to grow, evolve and capitalise on a future that’s more connected than ever before. 

For T-Mobile, that leadership comes in the form of Mike Sievert, the man behind the rise of the US’ most dynamic and disruptive mobile operator from a distant third to the country’s second-largest mobile network operator, and the fastest-growing company in the industry.

 “There is no doubt that we are the leading growth company in wireless.” - Mike Sievert, CEO, T-Mobile

Sievert made the step up from T-Mobile COO to the CEO role in May of last year, just a few months before the company’s wildly successful “un-carrier” approach and merger with Sprint, put it ahead of AT&T. 

Over the course of his eight year career at T-Mobile (he got his start at Procter & Gamble, before moving on to hold leadership roles at IBM and Clearwire) Sievert has been a relentless disruptor of the wireless industry status quo. Now, he’s leveraging the company’s merger with Sprint to carry the un-carrier forward into the 5G era. 

"We’re going to be able to offer Sprint and T-Mobile customers… the best value and the best network simultaneously. That’s unprecedented in this industry." - Mike Sievert, CEO, T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s 5G network is the largest 5G carrier in the US, with a low and mid-band-focused network that covers more than 280mn people - a fact which prompted AT&T and Verizon to throw down almost $69bn between them at the latest 5G spectrum auction in hopes of catching up. Sievert is in no way content to rest on those laurels, however. In an interview with CNBC last year, he made it clear that, “We intend to cover 99% of the country. Not just with low band 5G like standalone T-Mobile but with broad and rich 5G that’s transformational.”

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