Huawei quietly launches Mate 60 Pro

Chinese technology shares surged Wednesday after Huawei Technologies Co. surprised investors by debuting a 6,999 yuan (R18,053) smartphone, buoying hopes for advances in domestic chip and mobile technology despite US sanctions.

The Mate 60 Pro device, which appeared this week for sale online with little warning, generated buzz among Chinese users who saw in the gadget Huawei’s resurgence in the high-end market.

Many users posted messages describing its fast wireless performance, triggering speculation Huawei had managed to achieve 5G capabilities despite being barred from top-of-the-line chipmaking and technology.

Chinese chip firms and Huawei suppliers including Lontium Semiconductor Corp., Cambricon Technologies Corp. and Anker Innovations Technology Co. climbed between 8% and 11%. Biwin Storage Technology Co. and Guangdong Leadyo IC Testing Co. surged their 20% daily limits.

Huawei is one of several Chinese companies at the centre of Washington-Beijing tensions, the target of sanctions on the sale of American software and circuitry over allegations it aids China’s military.

The leading association of global chip companies warned this year that Huawei is building a collection of semiconductor-fabrication facilities across China, a shadow manufacturing network that would let the blacklisted company skirt US sanctions and further the nation’s technology ambitions.

Online screenshots purported to show the Mate 60 Pro performing at 5G-capable speeds, propelling the device to the top of trending topics on Weibo, China’s X-like equivalent.

A Huawei spokesman declined to comment on the device’s components but called it “the most powerful Mate model ever.”

Bloomberg News wasn’t able to verify the authenticity of those reports and posts.

The Chinese telecom regulator’s website didn’t show product registration details for the model, which are required for all smartphones using wireless networks sold in the country.

The Mate 60’s launch will be a catalyst for more homegrown, high-end smartphones, and trigger demand in the supply chain especially amid a downturn in semiconductors, Huajin Securities analysts including Sun Yuanfeng wrote in a note.

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Huawei quietly launches Mate 60 Pro