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People look at newly launched Mate60 smartphones at a Huawei flagship store

Folks have a look at newly launched Mate60 smartphones at a Huawei flagship retailer on September 25, 2023 in Beijing, China.
Photograph: Kevin Frayer (Getty Photographs)

Regardless of tightened controls on shipments of superior AI chips and semiconductor instruments to China from U.S. firms, one of many nation’s high know-how producers was reportedly able to use U.S. technology to make a breakthrough chip last year.

Huawei Applied sciences and its associate Semiconductor Manufacturing Worldwide Corp. (SMIC) used tech from California-based Utilized Supplies Inc. and Lam Analysis Corp. to make an advanced 7-nanometer chip used in Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro smartphone, sources advised Bloomberg.

The chip, which was made with tech from the U.S. firms in addition to Dutch semiconductor firm ASML Holding NV, will not be as superior as chips from different corporations, however continues to be forward of where the U.S. wants its chip war rival to be. In October, Bloomberg reported SMIC used tech from ASML to make an advanced chip for Huawei’s smartphone.

SMIC was already in possession of the U.S. tech used to construct the chip earlier than the U.S. Division of Commerce barred U.S. companies from supplying Chinese companies with advanced chips and chipmaking equipment in October 2022, sources advised Bloomberg. The U.S. additionally banned the approval of kit from Huawei and different Chinese language firms in November 2022, alleging it posed “an unacceptable threat” to nationwide safety.

The commerce division hasn’t seen proof that the superior chips might be made “at scale” by SMIC, Bloomberg reported. Neither Huawei, SMIC, Utilized Supplies, nor Lam Analysis instantly responded to a request for remark from Quartz.

Huawei noticed excessive demand for its Mate 60 smartphone sequence within the first six weeks of 2024, whereas Apple saw its iPhone sales in China fall 24% year-over-year throughout the identical interval. Nevertheless, total smartphone gross sales in China had been down 7% year-over-year for the primary six weeks of the yr.

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