Geely chairman’s smartphone project aims for 2023 product launch – memo

The Geely logo is seen at a car dealership in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A smartphone venture launched by the chairman of Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding aims to roll out its first phone by 2023 and to sell 3 million units in the first year, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

Eric Li, also known as Li Shufu, on Tuesday launched a company that Geely said would make premium smartphones, entering the highly competitive handset sector.

Geely said Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology Co Ltd, had agreed to set up a headquarters in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

The project will be funded with a 10 billion yuan ($1.55 billion) investment and is also targeting revenue of 10 billion yuan in its first year, the memo said.

It aims to achieve cumulative revenue of 150 billion yuan within eight years and to employ 3,000 people, the memo said.

Geely declined to comment.

($1 = 0.1547 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Yilei Sun; editing by Jason Neely)