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Huawei announced on Tuesday that it has sold its brand of low-cost smartphones, “Honor”, to a local consortium due to “tremendous” pressures on its supply chain as a result of US sanctions.

The “Honor” brand was bought by a consortium of 40 companies that includes agents, distributors and other companies whose lives depend on this brand, according to what Huawei and the consortium announced in separate statements.

Huawei, one of the world’s three largest smart phone manufacturers, said its production was “under enormous pressure” because of the sanctions imposed by the United States that prevented it from obtaining enough electronic components to manufacture low-cost phones.

“The sale will help Honor sellers and its suppliers through this difficult time,” Huawei said in a statement.

Honor, the brand that mainly targets young people and those with limited budgets, according to Huawei, sells about 70 million phones annually.

Huawei stressed in its statement that after this sale, it no longer owns any shares in its previous company and “no longer participates in business management or decision-making in the new Honor company.”

The administration of US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Huawei on suspicion of spying for Beijing, which the Chinese group denies.

Under US sanctions, Huawei is banned from obtaining basic US technology for its phones.

Since September, Huawei is no longer able to supply its advanced devices with new “Keri” chips, for example, and does not have the ability to manufacture them internally. It is also no longer able to access Android system updates, the operating system of Google’s dominant US group of phones