BEIJING, October 15 ( TMTPOST ) — Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology Co., Ltd, a startup founded by Geely ’ s chairman Li Shufu, is expected to become the best practice for traditional automobile manufacturers who intend to or have expanded into the heated mobile market, commented Auto Business Review, a Chinese journal in the automotive industry.
Targeting not just Geely ’ s retail customers, Xingji Shidai plans to launch smartphones with price tag no less than RMB5,000 ( US$775 ) , featuring satellite communications backed by Geely ’ s network of Low Earth Orbit ( LEO ) satellites, the journal learned from sources close to the company. It is also said its first product could cost about one and a half year to two years since it would be equipped with the chips developed by the company itself.
However, Xingji Shida may do much more than as what it has disclosed in public is only the tip of the iceberg. Shen Ziyu, the company ’ s second largest shareholder who holds 30% stakes, acts as the director of the board as well as CEO of ECARX Technologoy Co., Ltd., an automotive intelligence technology unit invested by Geely. ECARX, another startup founded by Li Shufu, offers core products including self-developed vehicle chip sets, 4G-powered intelligent cockpits and intelligent driving products. In late March, Shen said a joint venture of his company and Arm China expected to launch 7 nm auto chips as early as next year. Geely-backed Accopower Semiconductor Ltd., an auto chip developer, and ECARX-controlled Suzhou Guangzhiju Photoelectric Technology Co., Ltd., a firm specializing in ASCI design and services, also reflect Geely ’ s effort into semiconductor sector. All of these sources suggest Xingji Shidai ’ s R&D of mobile chip is unlikely to start from scratch.
And there is also another key player in Li Shufu ’ s deployment of smartphone — Shnaghai Boxing Tecnology Co., Ltd, a startup sharing the same major shareholders including Li Shufu and Shenziyu as Xingji Shidai. Established in September, the same month as Xingji Shidai, Boxing registered the businesses including sales of ground-based reception equipment for satellite television broadcasts. The company seems to operate Xingji Shidai ’ s satellite communication for smartphones in the future, which will form a complete satellite communication service cycle since Geely ’ s first commercial satellite has already come off the assembly line in late September.