US National Security Alert: Huawei's Mate 60 Pro Chip Raises Eyebrows Amid Sanctions

The global tech community was taken by storm when Huawei recently unveiled its latest marvel, the Mate 60 Pro.

by Faruk Imamovic
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US National Security Alert: Huawei's Mate 60 Pro Chip Raises Eyebrows Amid Sanctions
© Getty Images News/Kevin Frayer

The global tech community was taken by storm when Huawei recently unveiled its latest marvel, the Mate 60 Pro. This flagship smartphone, a product of Chinese ingenuity, houses the new 5G Kirin 9000s processor. The sophisticated chip, custom-made for Huawei, has raised eyebrows among industry experts and US government officials.

The main point of contention? How Huawei managed to engineer such an advanced chip, especially given the stringent US sanctions that aimed to curtail China's access to pivotal chip technology.

Resurgence Against All Odds

For many, the Mate 60 Pro represents more than just a smartphone; it symbolizes Huawei's audacious return to a fiercely competitive market.

Once neck and neck in the race to be the premier smartphone brand globally, Huawei's comeback strategy appears to lean heavily on championing Chinese-made components. "The reaction in China seems to be one of mass excitement because Huawei...

is seen to be fighting its way back into the smartphone market with Chinese-made silicon, and has no doubt been trading on a ‘Made In China’ mantra,” explained David McQueen, Director at ABI Research. However, this resurgence isn't devoid of skepticism and questions.

US Raises Concerns Over Chip Technology

The magnitude of Huawei's technological leap, particularly amidst stringent restrictions, has piqued the interest of the US administration. Jake Sullivan, US National Security Adviser, highlighted these concerns during a recent White House press briefing.

Expressing the need for a deeper understanding, Sullivan said the US aims to discern “more information about precisely its character and composition” to ascertain if the creation of the chip sidestepped the American embargo on semiconductor exports.

McQueen also chimed in with a perspective echoing similar sentiments. While the chipset's access to 5G is undoubtedly commendable, McQueen posed a pertinent query, "I’m not sure how the company managed to source all the other components that need to go into a 5G smartphone, such as power amps, switches, and filters”.

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