Xiaomi accuses Huawei exec of misrepresenting facts in smartphone patent spat

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Xiaomi accuses Huawei exec of misrepresenting facts in smartphone patent spat © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People check new products of Xiaomi ahead of the 2023 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 26, 2023. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/File Photo

By Yelin Mo and Brenda Goh

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi (OTC:) said on Tuesday a senior Huawei executive had seriously misrepresented facts when he claimed that rival firms were not fully respecting patents.

Yu Chengdong, who runs Huawei’s consumer products and auto businesses, referred to “dragon bone” technology when he complained about patent infringement at a company event last week.

Although he did not mention Xiaomi by name, Xiaomi touted its “dragon bone” hinge technology when it launched the new version of its foldable phone, the Xiaomi MIX Fold 3, and his remark was widely interpreted as taking aim at Xiaomi.

Xiaomi, China’s No. 5 smartphone maker, said its hinge technology had been developed completely independently.

“We urge Yu to follow ‘basic scientific and rigorous standards’ and stop unfairly criticising competitors or misleading the public in the future,” the statement said.

It added that its patent has additional components when compared to the patent referenced by Yu and that the patent referenced by Yu was not made public until June 2021, months after Xiaomi had made public statements about its “dragon bone” technology.

Huawei, China’s sixth-biggest smartphone maker, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The spat comes amid intense competition in China’s smartphone market with both companies having recently redoubled their efforts in the high-end segment.

Xiaomi and Huawei have quarrelled before. In 2018, they sparred over the specifications of their smartphone cameras, with Huawei’s Yu and Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun trading barbs.

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