What happened: A source told Yicai Global that Huawei plans to release TV sets under its Honor brand in April or May 2019, adding to its smart home offerings. Its target audience would be middle to high-end customers and would build on the smartphone maker’s 5G ambitions. By selling high-resolution 4K or 8K sets along with associated high-quality services, the source said, it could increase demand for higher-speed internet. Huawei declined to comment on its potential expansion into television.
Why it’s important: Controversy continues to swirl around the company due to CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is still being detained in Canada, and accusations that it violated US sanctions on Iran. However, the company hasn’t yet backed down from plans to expand. While its attempts to establish worldwide 5G networks have been rebuffed by US allies, it’s charging ahead with domestic adoption. The addition of TVs to its line of phones and smart home devices appears to fit in with those ambitions. It would also be another sign that, in addition to developing its own chips, it doesn’t plan to yield to US bans or pressure any time soon.