After backing off with its deal with Huawei to launch the Mate 10 at CES 2018 due to “political pressure,” AT&T has now been urged by U.S. lawmakers to cut all ties with Huawei. Two congressional aides also revealed that the U.S. lawmakers are opposing plans of China Mobile entering the US market.
The U.S. lawmakers are also advising U.S. firms not to keep ties with Huawei or China Mobile as having any commercial relationship with them could hamper their chances of working with the government.
U.S. lawmakers are urging AT&T Inc, the No. 2 wireless carrier, to cut commercial ties to Chinese phone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and oppose plans by telecom operator China Mobile Ltd to enter the U.S. market because of national security concerns, two congressional aides said.
Huawei has not been allowed to enter the U.S. market due to its close ties with the Chinese government. US regulators fear that this would allow Chinese intelligence agencies to snoop on U.S. customers and their data and pose a potential security risk. Huawei along with ZTE were also subjected to an investigation by the U.S. government in 2012, though that did not reveal anything. Nonetheless, both companies have not been allowed to freely enter the U.S. market and face heavy government scrutiny.
AT&T was to announce a partnership with Huawei at CES 2018 that would see the former sell its flagship Mate 10 Pro smartphone in the US. However, the carrier had to back down from the deal at the last moment due to political pressure. This left Huawei’s CEO fuming and he even went off-script at his CES 2018 keynote expressing his displeasure about this. He said that Huawei takes user security and privacy very seriously and due to this battle between the US government and the company, consumers are the one who ended up losing the most.[Via Reuters]