Huawei releases 5G Nova 6 series amid controversy

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/5 20:27:45

Graphics: GT

Huawei on Thursday released its latest 5G Nova 6 smartphone amid a strengthening US crackdown and rising domestic criticism over the detention of a former employee in China - a market it relies on after a US ban hampered its overseas expansion.

The smartphone, featuring dual front-facing cameras and powered by the Kirin 990 chipset together with the Balong 5000 5G modem, is designed to target the country's vast younger generation.

Prices start from 3,799 yuan ($539.48), and the device will officially enter the market on December 12.

The latest handset is just one among a series of new 5G smartphones the Chinese technology giant has launched over the past year, showing its defiance in the face of what is widely believed to be a politically motivated crackdown from the US.

Huawei released a budget 5G smartphone, the Honor V30, on November 26. It also released its 5G foldable Mate X in October, and its Mate 30 smartphone series in September. Its intensive launch schedule of new products has secured its top ranking in the Chinese mainland market.

Overall, the company saw a surge in shipments in the mainland during the third quarter of 2019, totaling 41.5 million units, up by 66 percent year-on-year and achieving a market share of 42.4 percent. That number far surpasses its competitor vivo, which ranked second with a 17.9 percent market share, according to a report from Canalys.

"Huawei has good products and with its advantage in 5G, it is no wonder it achieved such a great sales performance. But the company has to admit that part of its jump in phone sales came from a boost in patriotism," an industry insider told the Global Times at the launch event of the Nova 6 on Thursday.

"When the boost in patriotism calms down, Huawei will have to find a new edge as competition is intense in the domestic smartphone market," the insider said.

Huawei is facing fire on Chinese social media after it reportedly played a role in the more than 250-day detention of a former employee, Li Hongyuan, and failed to quell widespread criticism, resulting in a significant shift in public sentiment toward the tech giant.

Additionally, Huawei needs to address concerns over whether its smartphone will be able to use Google's apps and software - and when its self-developed HarmonyOS will be ready for use.

Ren Zhengfei, Huawei's CEO and founder, said during an interview on November 26 that the company can still become the world's top smartphone brand if it remains cut off from Google, adding that it will just take more time, according to a CNN report.

Huawei's business has proven to be broadly resilient this year. The company saw its revenue increase by 24.4 percent in the first nine months of 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier.


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