Huawei launches Mate 50 smartphone and Aito M5 electric car in China
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer affairs and automotive technology unit, unveiled the Huawei Mate 50 series on Tuesday. The Chinese giant’s smartphone business has been hit by US sanctions over the past two years, which cut the company off from key technology.
Huawei has launched a flagship smartphone which it says is the first device capable of connecting to China’s Beidou global navigation satellite system.
It comes as the company seeks to remain relevant in the mobile phone market after US sanctions crippled its mobile phone business.
The Chinese tech giant unveiled the Mate 50 smartphone on Tuesday, alongside the MatePad Pro tablet and Watch GT 3 Pro smartwatch.
Huawei’s Mate 50 has an updated camera with 4 lenses arranged in a circle on the back. The phone also runs Harmony 3.0, the latest version of the Huawei-developed operating system, which was first released in 2019 after the company was barred from using Google’s Android software due to US sanctions.
The Mate 50 also lacks connectivity to super-fast 5G networks after US sanctions cut the company off the key chip required for it. Instead, the phone connects to previous generation 4G networks.
However, Huawei says it is the first publicly available smartphone that can connect to China’s Beidou satellite network. Beidou was completed in 2020 and is a rival to the US government’s Global Positioning System (GPS), which is widely used around the world.
Connectivity to Beidou means that users can still send messages even when they lose connection to a land mobile network, for example, if they are in a remote area.
The Mate 50 went on presale in China on Tuesday and the starting price is 4,999 yuan ($718), with the more capable Mate 50 Pro starting at 6,799 yuan ($1,006).
Huawei’s EV push
But Huawei, which rose to prominence through its telecommunications equipment business, has moved into new growth areas over the past two years, including software and cloud computing.
More recently, Huawei established an automotive technology company focused on electric vehicles. But the company based in Shenzhen, southern China, does not manufacture cars. Instead, it partners with automakers and provides technology in various parts of the vehicle.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Automotive Solution business unit, introduces the Aito M5 electric car. Huawei does not manufacture cars, but partners with automakers and focuses on vehicle technology. The Aito M5 is a collaboration between Huawei and Chinese automaker Seres.
On Tuesday, Huawei launched the AITO M5 electric vehicle in collaboration with Chinese automaker Seres. The car contains Huawei’s Harmony OS operating system for the digital cockpit and infotainment system and includes a computer system to adjust the torque of the vehicle. Huawei said it helps improve vehicle control.
A number of Chinese tech companies, including search giant Baidu and smartphone maker Xiaomi, have entered the EV market to grab a slice of the pie in the rapidly growing EV market. .
Huawei has already launched cars alongside Chinese automakers BAIC and Changan.