Sany says diversifying into smartphones, as machinery demand slips

Reuters News
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Posted: May 29, 2015 5:09 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese construction machinery maker Sany Group, which has been impacted by a sustained market slowdown, said it is venturing into smartphones, as part of a plan to diversify away from heavy machinery.

Sany is the latest among several companies jumping into the local smartphone market. They include Chinese video site LeTV, Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd and Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai.

Plans by Sany to launch the SANYV8Pioneer 4G model were first revealed by users of WeChat, a popular social messaging app, this week, with sales of the 1,699 yuan ($273.97) handset to start on June 8.

Xiang Wenbo, president of Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd, which is part of Sany Group, confirmed the launch date and the pricing via his personal Weibo microblog account on Wednesday. He didn't reveal whether the Changsha-based firm would manufacture the handset itself, or the quantum of investment.

Sany executives could not be reached on Friday for comment.

Sany, Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co Ltd and other heavy equipment makers are diversifying into sectors unrelated to their core businesses as a slowing Chinese economy curbs demand for their products.

Sany, which has already opened a bank, also has been investing in marine and port machinery, a sector now dominated by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co Ltd. Its sprawling marine machinery industry park in south China started operations earlier this month.

(Reporting by Fang Yan and Matthew Miller in BEIJING; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)