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Latest Chinese smartphone finds way around US sanctions – Bloomberg

The new Huawei handset boasts wireless speed similar to the latest iPhones, testing has shown

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has released its latest smartphone in the face of strict trade curbs being imposed by the US, Bloomberg reported on Friday. The device is likely to be the first Huawei product with a new 5G chip since the company lost access to American technology three years ago.

The gadget, which went on sale in August, has wireless speed similar to that of Apple’s latest iPhones and supports 5G and satellite calls, according to a number of online reviews. 

The Shenzhen-based company has been struggling to recover from US sanctions imposed in 2020, which cut it off from crucial technologies such as semiconductors and other advanced products from major chip makers.

Testing by Bloomberg showed that the new Mate 60 Pro has bandwidth similar to other 5G phones. The device achieved speeds of more than 350 megabits per second.

“Huawei’s new 5G chip, which powers its newly-released Mate 60 smartphone, is likely fabricated by SMIC. This marks a milestone in China’s semiconductor progression. Yet we expect limited financial uplift for SMIC in 2024, given production yield challenges and material constraints,” Bloomberg analysts Charles Shum and Sean Chen said.

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The outlet added that it remains unclear what chips the Chinese firm used to produce the new gadget.

Before 2020, Huawei was a global leader in the smartphone industry, behind only Samsung and Apple. However, it relied heavily on technology and components made in the US or produced by companies under American patents.

The Chinese brand could not compete globally as it has lacked the hardware needed in chipsets and 5G modems since the US trade restrictions were imposed.

Huawei’s market share of smartphones in China accounted for around 30% last year, making it the country’s largest phone vendor. The company’s global market share in July was estimated at around 4%.

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