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SMIC’s unspoken mission and Huawei’s 5G smartphone chips

As Huawei boldly proclaimed the comeback of its flagship 5G smartphone in early August, rumors about Huawei commissioning China’s largest semiconductor foundry SMIC to break through the US export sanctions flared up again. Apparently, SMIC is the most likely source of Huawei’s 5G chips, which has to be made by advanced semiconductor processing technologies. What did SMIC not say about its advanced foundry services? How is it coping with the business downcycle, alongside new export controls by the US, Japan, and the Netherlands on semiconductor equipment, to stay competitive?