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Huawei Launches First Smartphone That Can Connect To China’s Beidou

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Huawei released a flagship smartphone, which it claims is the first to connect directly to China's Beidou world navigation satellite network. 

The announcement indicates that the company wants to stay competitive in the mobile phone market after U.S. sanctions crippled its mobile phone business.

The company says that this phone is the first smartphone available to the public to be connected to China's Beidou satellite-based network.

Beidou was launched in 2020 and is a direct competitor for the U.S. government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS), which is extensively used worldwide. 

The connectivity to Beidou allows users to send messages even if they cannot connect to a terrestrial mobile network, such as in a remote zone.

The Mate 50 went on pre-sale in China on Tuesday. 

The beginning price is set at 4,999 Yuan ($718). The premium Mate 50 Pro starts at 6,799 Yuan ($1,006).