What happened: World’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier Huawei unveiled its new smartphone chip, the Kirin 980, ahead of Apple and Samsung Electronics in launching a new integrated circuit. Huawei’s new chip is a system on a chip built on the 7-nanometre fabrication process of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The process will be used to power the new iPhone to be released in September.
Why it’s important: China has been promoting self-developed chips and a domestic semiconductor supply chain to become more competitive with US chip industry leaders. More than 90 percent of the world’s smartphones, 65 percent of personal computers, 67 percent of smart televisions, are made in China. However, most of the chips used to make the phones are imported from abroad. Annual chip imports by China have reached $260 billion last year.