Huawei's Honor Brand Hints Shift to MediaTek as Trusted Mobile Chip Supplier Amid US-China Trade War

© MediaTek Press LibraryHsinchu-based MediaTek's 5G Dimensity 820 Chipset
Hsinchu-based MediaTek's 5G Dimensity 820 Chipset - Sputnik International
The world's fourth-largest processor company may potentially strike fresh deals with a leading Chinese smartphone company as a trusted supplier amid the ongoing US trade war on China, it was revealed in reports this week.

Huawei subsidiary smartphone maker Honor confirmed it would seek to acquire MediaTek 5G processors for upcoming mobile product lines, reports revealed on Thursday.

Honor has kept good relations with the Taiwanese chipmaker and plans to strengthen ties in the near future, Zhao Ming, business unit president, said at an Honor X10 product launch this week.

The Honor X10 currently uses Huawei's HiSilicon's Kirin 820 chipset, but concerns over future Honor processors was uncertain, with the company seeking to ship with MediaTek's Dimensity chip series, the top exec said as cited by Chinese electronics media CNMO on Thursday.

He added that 5G was the next step in smartphones and MediaTek's affordable lineup would allow the firm greater entry into the market and popularise faster connections in future mobile units.

The new chipsets would also be optimised for Honor's custom operating systems, he said.

The news comes after another Hsinchu-based firm, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), stopped all processor orders with Huawei, citing concerns for its operations amid the Trump Administration's renewal and expansion of a trade ban on Chinese companies.

But China's mainland chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, began mass-producing Huawei's Kirin 710A chipset for Honor smartphones to boost the country's chip industry and shift production away from TSMC.

China's State Council also pledged $1.4tn to reduce independence on US technologies in line with the government's Made in China 2025 programme and part of a wider $563bn fiscal stimulus packaged launched amid the 2008 financial crisis.

The funds will allow Chinese firms, including Alibaba Holdings Group, Tencent Holdings, Huawei and others, to develop 5G and 6G research, artificial intelligence, energy grid and smart city infrastructure across the mainland and partner countries.

Further measures have allowed Huawei's HiSilicon to surpass California-based processor firm Qualcomm in China's mainland market for the first time in history, in addition to avoiding year-on-year losses for 2019.

The developments come after US authorities placed Huawei, ZTE and over 70 Chinese tech firms on an Entity List in May last year, citing national security claims that such companies could be used to spy on behalf of the Chinese government.

Both Beijing and the Shenzhen-based tech giant have repeatedly and sharply refuted the allegations, and US officials have provided no evidence on Washington's claims against Huawei to date.

Following the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Chinese authorities view Taiwan as a province of mainland China and have not been granted a seat in the United Nations, while Taiwanese officials state the country is a sovereign nation.

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