- Huawei has managed to develop a smartphone with no American parts, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
- The discovery was made thanks to an analysis by UBS and Tokyo-based tech lab Fomalhaut Techno Solutions.
- Huawei has been plagued by on-off US sanctions in recent months, and it was blacklisted by the Trump administration in May. The Mate 30 is unable to provide users with access to Google Play services as a result.
- The Chinese telecoms giant has reportedly given some of its staff lavish bonuses for helping to circumvent the US sanctions.
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Huawei struck a symbolic blow in the ongoing tech cold war between China and the US.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese tech giant’s Mate 30 smartphone contains precisely zero American parts. The discovery was made thanks to an analysis of the Mate 30 by UBS and Tokyo-based tech lab Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, which disassembled the phone.
Launched in September, the Mate 30 is a rival to Apple’s iPhone 11 and Samsung’s Galaxy S10. A major roadblock to selling the phone outside China is both the basic Mate 30 and the higher-end Mate 30 Pro’s lack of access to Google apps and services.
Huawei was blacklisted by the Trump administration in May, meaning that US companies had to obtain special dispensation to do business with Huawei. As a result, many of Huawei’s US suppliers could no longer do business with the company, including its longstanding chip suppliers in the US, Qualcomm and Intel.
Though the blacklisting was temporarily scaled back to help existing customers, is has forced Huawei to improvise to build its newer smartphones – both in terms of finding alternative pre-existing part suppliers, and developing its own in-house parts.
While chips in older models of the Mate 30 are said to have come from Cirrus Logic, a Texas-based chipmaker, newer models’ chips are supplied by NXP Semiconductors, which operates in the Netherlands.
For its part, Huawei has remained bullishly optimistic about its ability to cope with US sanctions. Last month, the firm’s longstanding CEO Ren Zhengfei told CNN that its phones’ inability to provide Google apps and services would not “be a problem but it just takes time.”
“When I say it takes time, what I’m referring to is the overseas market, because we will return to the overseas market next year, and the year after that,” he explained.
The world’s largest manufacturer of telecoms equipment is also reported to be paying lavish bonuses to staff who help to circumvent the US sanctions.