The US government is seeking more information about the Huawei Mate 60 Pro, a Chinese smartphone powered by an advanced chip.
The new flagship device, which is said to include the new 5G Kirin 9000s processor specially developed for the Chinese company Huawei, recently shocked the industry experts who did not understand how the company would get the technology to make such a chip after the relentless efforts of the United States to manufacture this chip. Restricting China’s access to foreign chip technology.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said during a White House briefing on Tuesday that the US needs “more information about its specific nature and composition” to determine whether the parties bypassed US restrictions on semiconductor exports to create the new chip.
In 2019, the government banned US companies from selling software and equipment to Huawei, and restricted international chipmakers that use US-made technology from partnering with Huawei. The government cited perceived national security concerns, such as the potential for cyberattacks or espionage from the Chinese government. The inclusion of a custom-made 5G chip will be a key benchmark for Huawei as it grapples with the impact of US restrictions on its hardware business.
Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“I think the reaction in China seems to be collectively excited because Huawei, which at one point was vying to be the number one smartphone brand worldwide, is seen as struggling to get back into the smartphone market with Chinese-made silicon,” he said. David McQueen, director of market research firm ABI Research, told CNN that there is no doubt that it traded on the “Made in China” slogan.
But he said the launch also raises questions about how Huawei managed to launch the phone when it has spent the past four years under US restrictions blocking access to 5G technology.
“While access to 5G for the chipset is one thing, I’m not sure how the company can provide all the other components that need to go into a 5G smartphone, such as power amplifiers, switches and filters,” he said.
When Huawei unveiled the Mate 60 Pro smartphone late last month, it didn’t include much information about the chip on its website’s product page, beyond promising a better connectivity experience and more stable network connection. But last week, consulting firm TechInsights took apart the Mate 60 to get a closer look at the chip, which appears to be a 7nm processor made by the Chinese Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (SMIC).
SMIC, a partially state-owned Chinese company, was included in the US government’s export restrictions several years ago.
National Security Adviser Sullivan added that the United States “should continue its course of imposing a set of technology restrictions over a small area and a high fence narrowly focused on national security concerns … regardless of the outcome.”