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Huawei launches new Pura 70 smartphone amid chip scrutiny, attracts crowds for sales kickoff

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Huawei starts sales of new Pura 70 smartphone to crowds amid chips scrutiny

Chinese technology giant Huawei has launched its highly anticipated Pura 70 smartphone series, featuring advanced cameras and sleek design. The first two models, the Pro and Ultra versions, were released on Thursday, with the Plus and base versions set to hit the market on April 22. The phones quickly sold out online and attracted long lines at Huawei stores in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

Analysts believe the Pura 70 series, which may contain an advanced China-made chip similar to Huawei’s Mate 60 handset, will be a significant catalyst for Huawei’s smartphone sales this year. Last year, the company sold about 32 million smartphones, and shipments are expected to reach about 60 million units in 2024.

One customer, Lucas Zhuang, praised the network speed of the Pura 70, comparing it to 5G performance. Despite Washington’s ban on licensing 5G chips to China, Huawei’s Mate 60 phones were already achieving 5G speeds in many cases. Zhuang noted that while the chip inside the Pura 70 was not disclosed prior to purchase, he was confident it would meet users’ needs.

The launch of the Mate 60 series last year was celebrated in China as a victory over U.S. sanctions on Huawei, as the handsets contained an advanced China-made chip. The Biden administration recently initiated a review of the chip, reportedly manufactured by China’s SMIC, to assess compliance with U.S. export rules.

Huawei’s acting chairman, Eric Xu, announced plans for a Mate 70 smartphone later this year, aiming to showcase the company’s HarmonyOS operating system. Developed in 2019 after U.S. sanctions restricted access to Google’s Android, HarmonyOS is expected to become fully independent and competitive with iOS and Android. Huawei continues to navigate challenges posed by U.S. trade restrictions and export controls on Chinese chip manufacturers.

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