Freed from US sanctions, Honor is thriving even without Huawei
Years pass, American sanctions rain down on Chinese industry, but George Zhao remains. For the first time in the company’s history, Honor’s CEO hosted a launch event on September 2nd at IFA, Europe’s leading trade fair for consumer electronics, which takes place every year in Berlin. The Honor 70 is presented, a mid-range smartphone sold for 549 euros, which is part of a major offensive by the Chinese manufacturer. Computers, tablets, cell phones… He’s working hard to make up for lost time.
Founded in 2014, Huawei’s former youth brand is experiencing a second youth. Honor was sold to a consortium of Chinese companies in the fall of 2020 to survive outside of American sanctions and has hired massively, from 8,000 to 13,000 employees. It manages its own R&D teams and production lines. And the results are surprising: Earlier this year, it stole Apple’s sales lead in China with a 20% market share, according to Canalys. A first that IDC confirmed in the second quarter with 19.5% market share, four times more than a year ago.
Honor has also restarted the machine in Europe following the difficulties related to the sanctions against Huawei.
“We have to pay particular attention to building new relationships with operators and dealers,” summarizes Tony Ran, the brand’s European Director. In France, the team consists of around forty people. “We have changed our positioning,” explains Mylène Poncet, the manufacturer’s marketing manager in France. We used to be a 100% digital brand aimed at young people. Now we meet the needs of every consumer, regardless of segment or distribution channel.” Its range goes from 179 to 1,099 euros. It has partnered with Fnac Darty and SFR. The brand is present on Orange, Bouygues Telecom and Free web only.
And the Chinese group is keeping a low profile.
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