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Huawei's tech advancements amidst sanctions

By Meng Zhe and Xu-Pan Yiru | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-14 17:12

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning clarified on Wednesday that China did not issue any law, regulation or policy document that bans the purchase and use of cellphones of foreign brands, such as iPhone. However, she also noted some media reports about security issues related to iPhone.

Apple recently unveiled its latest iPhone 15 series, featuring a few design changes that left some consumers underwhelmed and vowing not to upgrade. This launch coincided with Huawei's introduction of the MATE 60 Pro and the portable phone X5. When Dan Hutcheson, vice chair of TechInsights, was asked to compare the new Huawei phones with the iPhone 15 series, he remarked that while Huawei's new phone might not impact Apple's global market, there is a higher likelihood of it influencing the Chinese market.

Five years ago, Huawei held the position of the world's second-largest smartphone supplier. However, in the wake of US sanctions, TechInsights' latest analysis placed Huawei at the 10th position. Nevertheless, Huawei's recent achievements in chip technology could potentially catapult the company back into prominence. Hutcheson commented that this represented a milestone, showcasing China's capacity to continually push technological boundaries. He observed Huawei's ability to achieve these breakthroughs, even without access to the most advanced tools, underscores their engineering prowess.

The question on everyone's mind is whether Huawei's remarkable technological advancements might circumvent the sanctions imposed by the United States. Hutcheson stated, "The sanctions are still functioning." He said it's crucial to recognize that these sanctions were primarily intended to maintain a technological gap of two generations between China and the United States. He emphasized that these sanctions primarily revolve around national security concerns, and bypassing them entirely remains a complex challenge.

Taking into account Huawei's strides in chip technology, Hutcheson pondered on the company's potential advancements in other tech domains, like DUV or EUV. He predicted Chinese companies' capabilities two years ago. He said the real surprise was that they've managed to sustain this pace of development despite management disruptions and geopolitical pressures.

Hutcheson also shed light on China's significant investments in semiconductor production, assembly, and packaging, cementing its status as a formidable player in the chiplet era, thereby bolstering its position in the tech industry.

In addition to technological advancements, Hutcheson expressed concerns about the geopolitical alliances forming around China and the potential for further destabilization.

As Huawei continues to make strides in the tech world, it remains to be seen how these developments will shape its future and whether it can navigate the complex landscape of international sanctions and geopolitical tensions.

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