Huawei’s new phone reportedly also has advanced chip despite U.S. controls

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Huawei may have surprised the tech world yet again. Last year, the Chinese giant shocked observers with the Mate 60 Pro smartphone, which features an advanced processor despite U.S. export controls meant to kneecap China’s semiconductor industry. At the time, experts felt that the phone could be a one-off, as Huawei and its suppliers would struggle to make advanced chips at scale.

But a new report shows that might not be the case. A teardown of the company’s latest phone, the Pura 70, by the consultancy TechInsights, showed Huawei is using the Kirin 9010 processor, a newer version of the Kirin 9000s used in the Mate 60 series. The Kirin series is made by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), a Chinese chip manufacturer.

TechInsights believes, with “high confidence,” that Huawei’s latest phone processor was made with SMIC’s 7nm+2 process, a supposedly enhanced version of typical 7nm manufacturing, according to Bloomberg.

The Kirin 9000s spooked lawmakers in Washington, as U.S. export controls on Huawei and the broader chip sector in China should have made it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to make a 7nm chip.

Analysts speculated that China was optimizing older chipmaking technologies to make these advanced semiconductors that may not be replicable at scale. But the new processor in Huawei’s Pura 70 may show that Chinese chipmakers have determined a solution—or are at least willing to bear higher production costs.

China’s breakthrough is prompting the Biden administration to plug loopholes in its export control measures, including leaning on allies like the Netherlands, South Korea, and Japan to more aggressively impose and enforce controls on China, reports the Financial Times. In particular, the U.S. wants its allies to halt servicing of chipmaking equipment at Chinese factories.

Huawei’s rise, Apple’s fall

The Mate 60 Pro and Pura 70 have helped Huawei push its way back into China’s premium smartphone market. Huawei sold 1.6 million Mate 60 Pro handsets in the six weeks following its launch, as state media celebrated the phone as a source of national pride.

And demand for the Pura 70 could be just as strong. The new phone sold out within two days of its launch, reports Bloomberg citing market checks from Jefferies.

Research reports show massive sales gains for Huawei since the release of the Mate 60 Pro, often at the expense of iPhone maker Apple.

Huawei may even sit at the top of China’s phone market, according to a report released Friday from market research firm Canalys. Huawei shipped 11.7 million phones in the first three months of the year, a 70% year-on-year increase, according to Canalys. Apple shipped just 10 million phones, down 25% year-on-year and putting the U.S. company in fifth place.

The attention has been good for Huawei’s bottom line. In March, the company reported a doubling of its net profit last year driven by higher sales in consumer electronics and cloud computing.

https://www.highcpmgate.com/f0c2i8ki?key=d7778888e3d5721fde608bfdb62fd997

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