Huawei Defies U.S. Sanctions with New Mate 60 Pro Smartphone: A Game-Changer in the Tech War?

As U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo visits China, Huawei Technologies unveils its latest smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro, online. This isn’t just another gadget; it’s a technological milestone that has U.S. officials worried.

Despite U.S. sanctions aimed at hindering China’s tech advancements, the new phone showcases China’s resilience and innovation.

The Mate 60 Pro features an advanced chip, both designed and manufactured in China, sidestepping U.S. export controls.

These sanctions, initially imposed by the Trump administration and sustained under President Biden, aimed to stifle China’s tech growth.

The phone’s release, coinciding with Raimondo’s visit, seems like a calculated move. Chinese media quickly label the U.S. trade war a “failure.”

Paul Triolo, a tech policy expert at the Washington-based Albright Stonebridge Group, describes the phone as a significant setback for Huawei’s former U.S. technology suppliers.

He emphasizes its geopolitical impact, proving that China can produce competitive technology without relying on U.S. inputs.

While the Biden administration remains silent, questions about the new chip’s capabilities linger. Huawei keeps details under wraps, only stating that the phone makes “satellite communications” breakthroughs.

Early speed tests suggest the phone’s performance is on par with leading 5G phones.

The chip, produced by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), a partially state-owned company, reportedly uses a 7-nanometer process, matching Apple’s 2018 iPhone chips.

This development challenges the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions, which aimed to slow China’s progress in fields like AI and big data by limiting its access to advanced semiconductors.

Experts caution that it’s too early to gauge China’s competitiveness in chipmaking. However, Chris Miller, a professor at Tufts University, believes the new phone proves that Chinese companies like Huawei still possess significant innovative capabilities.

The release of the Mate 60 Pro has ignited debates in Washington and the tech industry. Some call for tighter export controls, while others argue for maintaining trade relations to preserve market share.

The situation echoes the Cold War era, where U.S. technology restrictions led rivals like the Soviet Union to develop their alternatives.

In summary, Huawei’s new smartphone not only marks a technological leap for China but also poses new questions about the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions and the future of the tech war between the two nations.

Source: Washington Post


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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