Chinese technology powerhouse Xiaomi is apparently working on a new foldable phone to rival Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2.
Images published on Chinese social media platform Weibo show a person using a foldable Xiaomi device on a train.
The images have since been deleted but were published online by MyFixGuide.
Xiaomi’s ambitious plans to enter into the lucrative foldable phone market were boosted by the fact the phone is running MIUI 12.
The heavily-modified software skin for Android was developed by Xiaomi.
But the new phone appears to have a big problem: a very visible crease.
The crease is enormous. But it should be kept in mind that the phone is likely a prototype and may not be indicative of Xiaomi’s finished product.
Xiaomi has patents for tablet-like devices that use folding technology.
The leaked photos are the clearest sign yet that the world’s third-largest phone maker is planning to enter into the foldable phone market.
It comes as the Chinese manufacturer’s shares plummeted after the Trump administration added it to a blacklist.
The designation means US companies and investors are prohibited from investing in Xiaomi.
Any US entities that have already done so will have to divest by November.
The move sent Xiaomi Hong Kong-listed shares plummeting 10%.
Xiaomi is now subject to a November executive order that restricts investment in firms designated by the US Department of Defence to be a Chinese military company.
Xiaomi hit back at the US on Friday, denying links to the Chinese military.
“The Company reiterates that it provides products and services for civilian and commercial use. The Company confirms that it is not owned, controlled or affiliated with the Chinese military, and is not a ‘Communist Chinese Military Company’ defined under the NDAA,” Xiaomi said.
Xiaomi benefited after Chinese giant Huawei was added to an Entity List in May last year.
International sales of Huawei phones dived sharply, with the ban meaning it was unable to work with companies such as Google.
It also meant new Huawei smartphones were no longer able to ship with Google-owned applications pre-installed — including the popular YouTube and Goole Maps apps.