Honor Announces New Leadership Prior to Intended IPO

Since its spin-off from Huawei three years ago, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Honor has made substantial progress in its much-anticipated listing. On November 22, Honor issued a board announcement, stating that it will continue to optimize its equity structure, attract diversified capital, and enter the capital market through an initial public offering (IPO), clarifying the previous market rumor that Honor might go public through a “backdoor listing”. 

To facilitate the listing, Honor has made adjustments to its board members. Wu Hui, representing the company’s major shareholder Shenzhen State-owned Assets, has been appointed as the company’s chairman, and the former chairman, Wan Biao, has taken the role of vice chairman.

On November 17, 2020, Honor officially spun off from Huawei, with Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co., Ltd. as the acquirer. Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co., Ltd. was jointly invested and established by Shenzhen Smart City Technology Development Group (controlled by Shenzhen State-owned Assets) and more than thirty Honor agents and distributors. 

In November, 2022, Honor Terminal Co., Ltd. went through a round of financing, adding six shareholders, among which Shenzhen State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission is the controlling shareholder. 

In the personnel adjustment released on Wednsday, Wan Biao was a veteran of Huawei. He previously held positions including President of Huawei’s Wireless Product Line, President of Huawei’s Russia Regional Department, and Chief Operating Officer of Huawei Consumer Business. In 2020, he became the chairman of Honor Terminal Co., Ltd., responsible for core businesses such as the supply chain. Wu Hui, who has been appointed as the chairman of Honor, worked in the Shenzhen Municipal Party Committee Office from 1996 to 2007, and later served as the Deputy Director of the Hubei Provincial Party Committee Office, Deputy Party Secretary of the Xianning Municipal Committee, Deputy Mayor of the Municipal Government of Xianning, and other positions. Since 2021, he has been serving as the chairman of the Water Affairs Group.

Honor’s CEO Zhao Ming once said that the Honor management team has absolute autonomy in all aspects of enterprise operation, business strategy, investment, etc., and the shareholders do not participate in specific business management. Based on Honor’s organisational structure, personnel from the Huawei system do indeed cover multiple core departments, including management, marketing, supply chain, and research and development.

In its board announcement, Honor also stated that over the past three years, under the leadership of Honor’s board and management team and the joint efforts of all employees, the company has achieved high-speed development in strategy and business, continuously improved its governance structure, optimized its management system, and significantly enhanced its overall competitiveness and market position.

A report by market analysis firm Canalys shows that in the third quarter of 2023, 66.7 million smartphones were shipped in the Chinese market, with Honor occupying the top seat with an 18% market share, shipping 11.8 million units.