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Amid U.S. Ban, Huawei Unveils Tablet Powered by Homegrown Chip

By Ding Yi / Nov 27, 2019 03:10 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Huawei has launched an iPad-like tablet computer powered by its self-developed processor as the embattled Chinese tech company seeks to withstand U.S. restrictions on doing business with American suppliers.

Featuring Huawei’s Kirin 990 processor and its self-made EMUI user interface for the Android operating system, the MatePad Pro is geared toward office use with a magnetic keyboard and a pressure-sensitive pen.

The tablet’s buyers will be gifted a free six-month membership to WPS Office, an office suite analogous to Microsoft’s Office software, Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, told reporters at the launch event in Shanghai on Monday. Yu also expressed confidence that the tablet would perform just as well as Huawei’s Microsoft-driven two-in-one laptops because the former “can be seamlessly connected to smartphones” thanks to its huge Android-based apps base.

Huawei’s push into tablets for office use comes as other hardware manufacturers like Apple are increasingly focusing on big-screen, portable tablets equipped with keyboards and smart pens.

Additionally, Huawei aims to lessen its dependence on American-built core components at a time when the Trump administration refuses to completely remove the company from its trade blacklist. Last week, the U.S. allowed some American suppliers including Microsoft to resume component sales to Huawei, but the Chinese company’s engagement with American partners remains limited.

In the third quarter of this year, Huawei shipped 2.12 million tablets in China with a 37.4% market share, surpassing Apple for the first time as the country’s biggest tablet seller, according to statistics from market research firm IDC.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: U.S. Allows Some Firms to Restart Sales to Huawei, Including Microsoft

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