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Huawei defends itself after SAIC chairman rules out use of its self-driving system


Comments by the chairman of SAIC, China’s largest automaker, that using Huawei’s autonomous driving system is a ceding of the soul have become one of the most hotly debated topics in China. Now, Huawei is defending itself.

The Huawei Inside model is currently used by just three car companies, and Huawei cannot and does not have the energy to make all of them use it, yicai.com said Friday, citing an insider at the Chinese technology giant.

SAIC and Huawei have always had a cooperative relationship, the insider said.

Partnering with a third-party company like Huawei on self-driving technology is unacceptable for SAIC, the company’s chairman Chen Hong said at a shareholder meeting on June 30.

“It’s like a company providing us with a complete solution so that it becomes the soul and SAIC becomes the body. Such a result is unacceptable to SAIC, and we want to take the soul into our own hands,” Chen explained.

Huawei did not make an official response to the comment. But Huawei automotive business insiders told yicai.com that under the Huawei Inside model, Huawei and car companies work together to define and jointly develop smart cars and have vehicles equipped with Huawei’s full-stack smart solutions, and it does not apply to all car companies.

“In addition to Huawei Inside, we provide components and solutions in a tier 1 or tier 2 approach. We are currently working with more car companies in this latter model,” the insider said.

Su Qing, Huawei’s smart driving president, has revealed Huawei’s view of the automotive industry.

He said that traditional car manufacturers consider the car to be the foundation and try to embed computers into it. Huawei’s view is different, the computer is the foundation, and the car is a computer-controlled peripheral device. Different essence of the view will lead to totally different views.

In other words, what Huawei wants to achieve is “software-defined car”. In his view, the car in the future will be continuously upgraded, just like a computer.

This article was first published by Phate Zhang on CnEVPost, a website focusing on new energy vehicle news from China.

CnEVPost is a website focused on the coverage of the new energy vehicle industry in China. As with our original intent for CnTechPost, there are a lot of interesting things happening in the Chinese EV industry every day, but they are not covered by the mainstream English language media. We're here to keep track of what's happening in the Chinese EV industry and strive to be the first to publish what we see in English.