One announcement that many people expected to occur at CES 2018 last week was going to be the availability of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro in the U.S. market via AT&T. In a big surprise, that announcement was scuttled the day before CES 2018 opened. Huawei was able to salvage the Mate 10 Pro launch with news that the device would be available through a variety of retailers even if an official carrier partner did not exist. In a new report, the cancellation of that deal was the result of pressure from U.S. lawmakers on AT&T to break off ties with Huawei.
According to sources, U.S. lawmakers take a dim view of Huawei and believe the Chinese company may be part of efforts that threaten U.S. national security. This is not a new position as lawmakers have been lobbying against Huawei’s entry into the U.S. market for several years. Their position may be somewhat bolstered by the position of the Trump administration which is taking a harder stance on different issues involving China.
Huawei is present in the U.S. market already through a variety of channels and initiatives. Honor branded phones are already available through major retailers and discount carrier Cricket, owned by AT&T, makes Huawei smartphones available to consumers. AT&T also works in collaboration with Huawei on standards for 5G networks in the U.S. Huawei has also produced phones for Google in the past.
Along with pressure to stop AT&T from carrying the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, or presumably any other Huawei phone, lawmakers are also pressuring the FCC to prevent China Mobile from entering the U.S. market. China Mobile is currently the world’s largest wireless carrier.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang says “we hope that China and the United States can work hard together to maintain the healthy and stable development of trade and business ties. This accords with the joint interests of both.” No other parties to the different deals have been willing to provide any official comments.
Do you think Huawei should be given greater access to the U.S. market or do they represent a national security concern that should be avoided?