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Huawei plans to make electric vehicles under the Huawei brand name and could launch some of the EVs this year. Four sources spoke to Reuters about the story and said that the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker is suffering after US sanctions and has been forced to look at some strategic pivots.

Huawei is in talks with Changan Automobile (a state-owned company) and other carmakers, to use their plants to make its EVs, according to some people familiar with the story.

Huawei is also talking to Beijing-backed BAIC Group’s BluePark New Energy Technology, to make its EVs.

A forced pivot

The plan is a harbinger of a major upcoming shift at Huawei, after spending two years dealing with US sanctions that have cut off its supply lines. The company was even forced to sell a part of its smartphone business to keep the brand going.

A Huawei spokesperson denied that the company is planning any EV designs or plans to produce vehicles branded with the Huawei name.

The spokesperson said that Huawei is not a car manufacturer. However, using ICT, the company aims to be a digital car-oriented and new-added components provider, enabling car original equipment makers to build better vehicles.

Mr. Yu’s plan

Three of the sources said that the company started internally designing the EVs and is talking to suppliers at home, intending to officially launch the project as soon as this year. Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business group, led the company to be one of the biggest smartphone makers in the world.

One of the sources says that Yu is planning to shift to EVs.

All the sources declined to be named since the discussions are still private at this stage.