India, China pump up the patriotism to celebrate local hardware manufacturing wins

Huawei's mystery smartphone excites, as top laptop-makers reportedly sign up to make in India

India and China are both celebrating hardware-related wins that are being hailed as signs the respective nations' tech industries are in rude health.

China's celebrations center on the Huawei Mate 60 Pro – a premium smartphone that Huawei quietly launched earlier this week without the usual pre-release leaks and speculation.

Huawei, we remind readers, has not released premium devices in recent years as US sanctions have meant it had difficulty acquiring the necessary components.

Huawei's spec sheet for the handset does describe its 6.82-inch, 2720 × 1260 screen, and the four cameras that each enable different degrees of zoom or wide-angle snaps. The spec sheet also lists the ability to connect wirelessly with Wi-Fi networks, satellite positioning systems, and NFC terminals.

But no processor is mentioned, and the spec sheet omits mention of how it connects to wireless telecommunications networks.

There is speculation in local reporting that the phone may have a home-brew 5G radio – which would be a sanction buster.

The phone "does not have 5G written on it. However, those who purchased it after it was launched on Wednesday, claim its download speech exceeds 500Mb per second, which is typically 5G speed," state-controlled China Daily explained in an article headlined "Domestic tech powers latest Huawei phone".

"Facing the heat of the curbs on the supply of chips for years, Huawei has become like a symbol for Chinese companies fighting injustice in the international sector," the story adds. "That's why the buzz around Huawei's new range of products is not for the company alone, but rather for Chinese companies as a whole."

The device costs around $960 and sold out within hours of debuting on Huawei's Chinese website and local e-commerce outlets.

Pump up the volume on China's national anthem, "March of the Volunteers," for this next bit as we quote China Daily's conclusion to its report: "Chinese people love Chinese brands and want Made in China to keep getting bigger and better."

Indian people, meanwhile, love overseas brands that come to India. Therefore they are loving news that Dell, HP, and Lenovo are among a group of companies that have applied for subsidies to make their kit on the subcontinent.

The three – plus Acer and ASUS – have reportedly put up their hands to participate in India's latest production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme that encourages tech manufacturers to conduct more activities in the country in exchange for rebates once their output accelerates.

Applications for the scheme closed on Wednesday. The next day, India's minister of communications and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw posted data indicating 40 applications had been received, adding "IT hardware industry captains are all set to make in India."

Local media report 38 applicants – among them the aforementioned multinational companies, plus 27 local companies that want to get into the biz.

India has had mixed success with these schemes. Foxconn backed out of a plan to make semiconductors, and Cisco signed up to make small quantities of kit – quite slowly. HPE has also announced modest plans that amount to a small percentage of its hardware output.

India's government doesn't mind that entirely, because part of its Make In India strategy is to have global companies create a local toehold and hope that growing domestic demand – and increased concerns about concentrating manufacturing in or near China – see those initial forays expand.

That plan has even worked with some of Huawei's handset-making compatriots, who have made manufacturing investments on the subcontinent. ®

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