Netizens excited over Huawei’s latest Mate60 series, say debut ‘best souvenir for Raimondo, proof of Chinese resilience against US sanctions’
Published: Aug 30, 2023 08:19 PM
Huawei Mate60 Pro Photo: Screenshot of Taobao

Huawei Mate60 Pro Photo: Screenshot of Taobao

Chinese netizens are excited over the unexpected debut of Huawei's latest Mate60 pro series, saying the high-end handset - which some speculated was using a 5G capable chip - marks a major breakthrough and serves as compelling evidence that Chinese high-tech firms can survive and get stronger in the face of US sanctions.

Coming amid US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo's visit to China, with the US considering new sanctions on Chinese high-tech industries, some netizens said that the debut is the "best souvenir" for Raimondo, and it's a reminder to the US when it attempts to use restrictions as "bargaining chips" when holding dialogue with China.

Some netizens also said this "coincidence" reminded them of China holding its first test-flight of the J-20 in 2011 when the former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates was visiting the country.

On Tuesday, Huawei unexpectedly announced the preorder of its high-end Mate60 smartphone series, saying it will let some consumers experience the "most powerful" high-end Mate series ever.

The device is the world's first for-public-use smartphone that supports satellite calls, runs on Huawei's latest Harmony 4.0 operating system and can access its self-developed Pangu artificial intelligence model, according to the company.

But most importantly, some speculated it's equipped with a domestically made 5G chip. If true, it's a significant step for the Chinese tech giant to overcome US sanctions, analysts said. Huawei did not disclose any information on the chipset yet. 

"The Mate60 pro achieves the performance of 5G," a close follower of Huawei, who has already received and tested the new Mate60 pro, told the Global Times on Wednesday, saying he's excited and surprised to see Huawei make such a major breakthrough in such a short time.

"If it has indeed found a way to produce chips under sanctions, it would mark a win for China's semiconductor sector," said the follower, who asked to remain anonymous.

Washington has restricted Huawei from buying advanced 5G chips and software from US companies since 2019, which dealt a heavy blow to its high-end smartphone businesses and left it only able to launch limited batches of 5G models using stockpiled chips.

"If all the widely circulated information proves to be true, Huawei's story will also serve as a reminder to US politicians who still want to use sanctions to curb the rise of Chinese companies," Zhang Hong, a veteran industry player, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

In the latest move, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on August 10 that will prohibit some new US investment in China in sensitive technologies like computer chips and will require government notification in other tech sectors, according to a Reuters report.

Chinese chip stocks rallied following the launch, with shares related to Huawei's chip subsidiary HiSilicon rising by 2.8 percent, and leading chipmaking giant Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co gaining 3.8 percent as of the close on Wednesday.

Overnight, the Huawei Mate60 suddenly became the most popular phone in China. The new Huawei Mate60 pro, which has been priced at 6,999 yuan ($960.52), sold out within an hour on Tuesday, according to the Shanghai Securities News. 

In a statement titled "A Letter to Huawei Users" on Tuesday, Huawei said the day also marked the cumulative shipment of Huawei Mate series mobile phones reaching 100 million units.

Richard Yu Chengdong, chief executive of the company's consumer business group and car unit, announced earlier this month that Huawei's flagship smartphones are "making a comeback" after struggling due to tightened US sanctions that cut off its access to advanced mobile chips.

Industry observers told the Global Times that the Huawei Mate60 series was originally scheduled to debut at the autumn new product launch conference held in mid-to-late September, a pre-release may also aim to seize an early opportunity in competing with Apple.

Apple will reportedly launch its new iPhone on September 12.

Huawei unveiled its financial report for the first half of 2023 on Wednesday, revealing notable increases in both revenue and profit. 

During this period, the company generated a revenue of 308.29 billion yuan, marking growth from the 298.68 billion yuan recorded in the corresponding timeframe last year. Impressively, the net profit surged to 46.523 billion yuan, a substantial leap compared to the 14.629 billion yuan reported in the same period the previous year.

Global Times