Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications equipment company that was struggling due to U.S. sanctions, is reviving the Chinese smartphone market after introducing its own smartphone for 5G. The surging sales of Huawei smartphones are driving the entire Chinese smartphone market.
Citing data from market research firm Counterpoint Research, Reuters and Bloomberg reported on the 14th (local time) that overall smartphone sales in China rose 11% in the first four weeks of last month from the same period last year. This is because Huawei’s smartphone sales surged 83% compared to the same period last year. Xiaomi’s smartphone sales also increased by 33%, but overall Huawei’s good performance led to the growth of the Chinese smartphone market.
Huawei surprised the industry by surprisingly releasing its own 5G smartphone Mate 60 Pro in late August, breaking through U.S. sanctions. Huawei has been unable to bring new 5G smartphones to the market for nearly three years since U.S. sanctions prevented it from purchasing 5G chips in September 2020. For this reason, some in and out of China said that Huawei may have broken through the US siege.S. siege.
Huawei did not disclose its exact specifications, but the product reportedly uses a 7-nanometer (nm) process semiconductor designed by Huawei’s subsidiary and produced by Chinese semiconductor company SIMC. Nikkei Asia reported that the proportion of Chinese parts used in the Mate 60 Pro reached 47%. Compared to the Mate 40 Pro released in 2020, the localization rate of parts has increased by 18 percentage points.
However, some point out that there is a limit to Huawei’s expansion of the smartphone market. The 7-nano chips used in the Mate 60 series are made with DUV (deep ultraviolet) exposure equipment, not EUV (extreme ultraviolet). EUV ends the process with just one print, but DUV is a device that shoots light several times to draw microcircuits, so the yield (ratio of accepted products without defects) falls. There is bound to be a limit to supply.
For this reason, Huawei is reportedly not meeting the growing demand for the Mate 60 Pro. Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported that there are up to three months of waiting time for orders and that Huawei still has many challenges to overcome in order to rebuild its smartphone business.