Geely buys majority stake in troubled phone maker Meizu

Chinese car giant Geely has acquired a majority stake in now small smartphone maker Meizu. Bloomberg reports that Meizu will operate as an independent company under Xingli Technology, another technology brand under the Geely umbrella. However, the two are expected to collaborate on new products, and Xingli has already expressed plans to make a splash in the AR/VR space.

If you’ve read Engadget long enough, you’ve probably seen Meizu’s early rise at the start of the smartphone boom. Unfortunately, it was lunched by other Chinese upstarts, including Xiaomi, and ended up remaining a minor player. In 2015, Alibaba decided to take a stake in the company when it was sidetracked by various boondoggles, including the confusing retrospective decision to build phones with Ubuntu.

Geely, on the other hand, is perhaps best known in the West as the controlling owner of Volvo, Polestar and Lotus, all of which have been pushed towards electrification. Of course, with cars becoming more and more like phones (and phones becoming such an important part of most cars), the idea of ​​automakers buying into the phone space makes a lot of sense. As Reuters Both the mobile and auto businesses are reportedly slowing down, and therefore deeper integration could be a way to capture the market.

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