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Chinese carmakers have been making inroads in the UAE space these past weeks. Will Huawei and its Aito join in the race? Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: As far as tech upgrades go, from dealing in smartphones and earbuds to rolling out EVs is quite the trip. But this is the journey China’s Huawei is on – and at some point UAE consumers could get an opportunity to join.

At least, that’s what Rajat Asthana, Chief Commercial Officer at Eros and a Huawei retail partner, believes is quite likely. Last September, Huawei showcased the Aito M5, an all-electric SUV, and expanding its hybrid/electric line-up.

“There’s a good chance that Huawei will bring the EV to the UAE,” said Asthana. “The big thing about the company is that it never stopped investing despite all that’s been going on in its non-operational space.” (Huawei has been facing challenges in the US and some of the Western European markets from governments, particularly in reference to 5G networks.)

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The Aito M5 has a claimed range of 600 plus kilometres. In recent weeks, a handful of Chinese carmarkers have rushed into the UAE car space, notably BYD (with Al-Futtaim), Exeed (with Al Ghurair Investment), Hongqi (with Altawkilat) and Geely in alliance with AGMC.

“The UAE EV market is only in the formative stage – there’s plenty new brands can do if they can show proof of range, durability and aesthetics,” said a car dealer. “All the recent Chinese car brands’ announcements with UAE partners are about being ready when demand for EVs rises.”

Among tech giants, Google has its mobility ambitions, and it’s an area where the Apple name keeps getting taled about a lot.

2023 will be crucial to Huawei’s sustainable survival and development. Plum blossoms tend to grow sweeter from a harsh winter’s freeze. Today, Huawei is like a plum blossom. While it’s true that we have considerable pressure ahead of us, we have what it takes to come out the other end

- Eric Xu, Huawei’s Chairman

For now, smartphones and more

Huawei has plenty coming in the meantime, including a new foldable smartphone in May. “It promises to be a lighter version, with even better displays,” said Asthana. “Foldables are where Huawei can make some serious push and emerge as a contender (to market leader Samsung).

“Already, we are seeing Huawei’s other lifestyle devices such as notebooks and wearables impressing consumers in the UAE and winning sales. On smartphones, it’s still in the comeback phase – the arrival of the new foldable will speed that up.”