Il gigante cinese è alle strette: vendere il brand low cost Honor è l'unico modo per salvarlo e per recuperare denaro fresco
Le indiscrezioni in merito alla possibile vendita del brand low cost Honor da parte di Huawei iniziano a diventare realtà: secondo quanto riportato da Reuters, infatti, il colosso cinese non solo sarebbe intenzionato a vendere Honor, ma ci sarebbero già gli acquirenti e persino il prezzo. Ed è molto alto: 15,2 miliardi di dollari.
A comprare Honor, secondo Reuters, sarà un consorzio formato Digital China (che è già uno dei distributori dei device Huawei e Honor) e il Governo della città di Shenzhen, dove l’azienda ha la sua sede. The sale of Honor would be a direct consequence of the restrictions imposed by the famous "ban" of the outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump and the strong pressures of the Americans on business partners halfway around the world to counter the overwhelming power of Huawei in strategic markets, such as that of equipment for 5G networks. Pressures that have also led many European companies to cancel their existing contracts with Huawei. The news that Huawei is about to sell Honor, therefore, is indirectly a confirmation that the Chinese don't believe that the situation will change much under the new US president, the just-elected Joe Biden.
Who is buying Honor
The sale of Honor is a complete divestment of the brand by Huawei: the brand, research centers, logistics centers and supply chain management centers are in fact sold to the buying consortium. At the end of the transaction, therefore, Honor will be a brand completely independent from Huawei.
The main buyer of Honor will be the Shenzhen government, which will acquire 85% of the shares through several subsidiaries, leaving the remaining 15% to Digital China. In April this year, Huawei had already created Honor Terminal Ltd, a subsidiary but tax-independent company, and this is now to be read as a move preparatory to the sale of the smartphone, tablet, computer and accessory brand.
After the sale, Honor plans to retain most of its management team and more than 7,000 employees and achieve a stock market listing within three years.
Why Huawei is selling Honor
Huawei is going to sell Honor, after just 7 years since it founded it, first and foremost to make cash: $15 billion is not enough to solve Huawei's problems, but it certainly helps in this very tough historical moment for the company that, despite everything, with its latest flagship smartphone Mate 40 Pro has shown the world that it still has a lot to say in the top-of-the-line segment.
From May 2020 onwards, Donald Trump's ban has managed to limit Huawei's ability to buy chips with U.S. technology for use in 5G network equipment and smartphones such as those in the premium P and Mate series. These issues also affected Honor, which after the sale will no longer be subject to U.S. sanctions and will be able to return to business as before in its target markets: China, Southeast Asia and Europe.
To date, Honor-branded devices account for about 26 percent of the total sold by the Huawei Group, but being mostly low-cost smartphones they make little compared to Huawei-branded top-of-the-line devices. A brand with such low profit margins can't survive without having the freedom to choose its suppliers and, consequently, freeing Honor from the grip of the U.S. ban is critical to its survival.