Huawei Unveils Their Mate X Smartphone at the Mobile World Congress, Amidst Growing US Pressure
As the Mobile World Congress begins to get underway this week in Barcelona, all attention is zeroed in on the telecom company based out of China, Huawei, for a couple of reasons. Amidst a storm of accusations from the United States regarding data collection and espionage, Huawei has released their new foldable 5G smartphone, the Mate X.
Priced at an exorbitant $2,600, the Mate X is set compete against Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, going for around $1,960. Both equipped using a foldable plastic, the screen of the of the Mate X stretches up to the length of 8 inches, compared to the 7.3 inch screen of the Galaxy Fold. Both of them employ the new 5G technology, but the Fold is the only one out of the two that also offers the option for 4G coverage.
As previously mentioned, Huawei has been under immense pressure as of late from the US, out of growing concerns that the emerging telecommunications company could potentially be used to spy for China. Huawei is the leading manufacturer in cell tower equipment, and listed second amongst top smartphone brands, and US officials worry that the Chinese government might coerce the company to share their data with them.
Huawei chairman Guo Ping claims that they’ve never had any intention of working with the Chines government, or any government for that matter, because doing so would essentially mean suicide for the company. Chinese president Xi Jingping also states that he wouldn’t force the company to do so.
In an effort to dictate the matters a little more to their assurance, the US has banned technology, and are urging other countries to follow suit. Although the sheer scope of the Mobile World Congress is one that regularly attracts US officials, in order to keep up with the current technological trends, a large delegation including FCC chair Ajit Pai are attending the conference to warn of the risks involved with Huawei. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has even gone as far as to say that the US might consider cutting ties with any countries that use Huawei technology, including embassies and any present military bases.
Australia, New Zealand, and Japan have also banned Huawei in their countries, and although it is big in Europe at the moment, countries like Germany, Great Britain, and Italy are reconsidering their positions. As of now, India is predicted to be the second largest consumer of Huawei over the next few years, so it’ll be interesting how the global dynamics are to play out in the upcoming months, possibly years.
Still, I bet it really could rain on your parade, when unveiling a new $2,600 phone, to have the US try to and forcibly persuade everyone not to by it. Chairman Guo Ping argues “This is not something that should be decided by politics.”
However, with being in the telecommunications business in today’s age, geopolitical ramifications are inherent.