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Huawei debunks rumours of smartphone business sale

Reports claimed the embattled Chinese firm was in talks to spin off its flagship P and Mate brands

Huawei's Mate 40 Pro smartphone

Huawei has dismissed reports that it is preparing to sell its flagship smartphone businesses as 'unsubstantiated'. 

The embattled Chinese firm said there was "no merit" to rumours that it was in the early stages of selling off its premium mobile brands, the P and Mate series. 

On Monday, Reuters reported that the firm had already begun talks with a consortium of investment firms backed by the Shanghai government. People familiar with the matter allegedly said the discussions had been going on "for months".   

The Chinese firm has struggled under tough sanctions from the US government which has cut off critical supplies from American businesses. Its smartphone unit has been severely hampered without software from Google and this has caused Huawei's sales to drop in the West.

Therefore, rumours of an exit from the smartphone business wouldn't come as too surprising. However, in a statement given to IT Pro, Huawei said there was "no merit to these rumours whatsoever" and that the company was "fully committed" to its P and Mate flagships. 

"Huawei has no such plan," a Huawei spokesperson added. "We remain fully committed to our smartphone business and will continue to deliver world-leading products and experiences for consumers around the world."

The claims that the discussions also involved Shenzhen government-back firms also lends some believability to the rumours. Huawei recently sold off its Honor brand of smartphones for around £11 billion to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology - a government-owned organisation.

What's more, the reason the firm gave for selling off Honor was that it could no longer make the devices without components from the US. 

Not being able to fully use Google's Android operating system has had an instant impact on Huawei's business. Its last three major smartphone offerings - the Mate 30, the P40 and the Mate 40 - have all gone to market without Google Play services. The company has invested heavily in its own app gallery, but it is also losing market share in Europe. 

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