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China Foreign Ministry Suggests Trump Buy a Huawei as Xiaomi Head Bashes Phone Rival

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Chinese government officials are not known for their zingers. But Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying delivered not one but three in quick succession yesterday, catapulting her to immediate Twittersphere infamy.

Responding to a New York Times story that China has tapped the US president’s personal phone and is listening in on the eloquently lucid musings he’s renowned for, Hua reeled off a trifecta of withering put-downs. First, she stated that this was another piece of evidence that the NYT deals in “fake news” (zing!); second, she suggested that if there were questions over the security of Apple’s iPhones, Trump should switch to a Huawei (zing! zing!); and finally, she mused that if concerns persisted, the US could just stop using modern communications technology and cut off connections with the outside world (zing! zing! zing!).

Naturally, that second zinger was the one that got the biggest laugh in the room at the time and made headlines worldwide. Huawei, who just last month made a puzzling MAGA reference in their campaign for the new Mate 20, have thus far seemingly kept quiet about it all on social media, though the SCMP reports that an exec at the company has posted his agreement with Hua’s suggestion on his WeChat Moments feed.

Related:

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But that’s fine, because they’re getting plenty of press just now without really doing much anyway. Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, who perhaps could’ve done with Hua writing his speech, typically laid into the rival phone maker as he unveiled his brand’s new MIX 3 device — the most expensive (from 3,299RMB, about 475USD) and sophisticated phone yet from a brand best known for its cut-price tech.

“Some people say this time we don’t have any cool features, and it’s true, we don’t,” said Lei at the MIX 3 launch inside the Forbidden City in Beijing. “We are now laying a solid foundation and improving the internal capabilities.”

Lei posited that these days the big phone brands are mostly focused on AI and cameras and on the latter directly compared the nighttime photography capabilities of the MIX 3 and Huawei’s P20 Pro (which carries a Leica camera). “Some of our rivals’ phones are crazy expensive,” Lei said in remarks read by many as aimed at Huawei and Apple. “But expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the best.”

Here’s Engadget’s run-down of the MIX 3 and its retro-feeling camera slider thing if you’re interested in finding out more:

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