After its smartphone business struggled, Chinese tech giant Huawei is taking aim at selling cars. Now, it's starting to have a new competitor in that new direction.
Beijing-based TikTok owner ByteDance's car information and service platform Dongchedi (literally means emperor of understanding cars) is about to launch its first offline experience store in July, with the site located in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, wujicaijing reported Thursday.
The experience store, which is currently undergoing final renovations, will exhibit models from dealerships of various brands, the report said, adding that more offline experience stores will be opened in China when the pilot operation is mature.
Notably, Huawei officially announced on April 20 that it would start selling cars in its flagship stores, further increasing its presence in the automotive sector on top of providing autonomous driving systems as well as parts for car companies.
The first model went on sale in Huawei's channel is the Seres SF5, which comes from Chongqing Sokon.
Dongchedi's first offline experience store is also located in Chongqing which is an interesting choice.
Richard Yu, managing director and CEO of Huawei's consumer business, said on April 20 that selling cars could make up for the decline in profits caused by the impact on sales of its cell phone business, which has suffered after being repeatedly sanctioned by the US.
Huawei has more than 5,000 high-end experience stores, far more than BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and car-making new forces, Yu said.
"It's a huge advantage for us, covering every important city in China," he said.
For ByteDance, its growth has begun to show signs of weakness, despite the absence of external factors that have constrained its growth.
QuestMobile data showed that four years after the launch of ByteDance's short video platform TikTok, growth has dropped to 60 percent in early 2020 from 733 percent in 2019, and the news aggregator app Jinri Toutiao is also showing negative growth in daily active users.
ByteDance, which has experienced nine years of rapid growth, has reached a turning point where its growth rate has slowed.
As early as 2016, ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming has been thinking about new growth points after bytes become slower, according to wujicaijing.
In April, ByteDance established Chongqing Wanxiang Youche Technology Co and launched recruitment for positions such as experience store manager and experience store operation leader.
The addition of experience stores to enter the offline car selling scene is one of the new growth points ByteDance is actively looking for during the change period when Zhang handed over the baton to the next CEO Liang Rubo.
Huawei's automaker partner Sokon gets more ammunition for product development