Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has launched its first chip for 5G base stationsmarking the companys effort to decrease its reliance on foreign components.

The chipset, dubbed Huawei Tiangang, could make base stations, which serve as a contact point for devices connecting to a mobile network, 50% smaller, according to Chinese media Jiemian. Huawei said on Thursday at the launch event in Beijing that the chip will allow 90% of 4G base stations to be given 5G capabilities without a significant overhaul. 

The release comes amid increased international scrutiny of Huawei’s equipment over espionage concerns, resulting in higher barriers for the company in the global market. Australia and New Zealand have excluded Huawei from their 5G deployment, while Germany is reportedly considering a similar move. Previously, the US has leveled government-wide restrictions on all Huawei devices.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen