Chinese tech company Huawei announced on Friday (9 July) that it has reached a license agreement with a supplier of German based Volkswagen Group, marking its largest licensing deal in the automotive industry.
In a statement, Huawei noted that the agreement includes a license under its 4G standard-essential patents, which covers Volkswagen vehicles equipped with wireless connectivity.
The company, however, did not provide any financial terms related to the agreement.
More than 30 million vehicles are expected to be licensed under its patents, based on existing agreements. Huawei has more than 100 patent license agreements in place over the past 20 years.
Huawei’s chief legal officer Song Liuping noted that the company’s patent portfolio for wireless technologies offers a “great value” for the automotive industry.
“We are pleased that key players from the automotive industry recognize that value. We believe this license will benefit worldwide consumers with our advanced technology,” he asserted.
Huawei, the world’s largest supplier of telecom networking gear and was a top-three smartphone supplier, has pivoted to other sectors after US sanctions imperilled its traditional network equipment and smartphone business.
Reuters reported on 17 June that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to advance a plan to ban approvals for equipment in US telecommunications networks from Chinese companies deemed national security threats like Huawei.
Under the proposed measures, FCC will be able to revoke prior equipment authorisations issued to Chinese companies. This would also prohibit all future authorisations for communications equipment deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to national security.
A spokesperson at China’s foreign ministry Zhao Lijian claimed the US is abusing national security and state power to suppress Chinese companies “without any evidence”.
“Once again we urge the U.S. to stop stretching the concept of national security and stop politicising economic issues,” Zhao said.