Reports from The Wall Street Journal and other outlets contend that ATT was prepared to announce a placement understanding with Chinese smartphone builder Huawei, but the understanding fell by at the last minute.
The understanding would have seen Huawei phones bundled with service deals in ATT stores, as conduit stores are the primary way US consumers buy phones. The two companies were prepared to announce the understanding at the now ongoing CES trade show in Las Vegas.
Huawei is the series 3 smartphone businessman worldwide, behind only Apple and Samsung, but the company struggles in the US. Huawei now sells to consumers online, but the miss of conduit deals has done the company fundamentally irrelevant in the US market. Outside of the US, Huawei is a large company, making not only phones but also its own line of “HiSilicon” SoCs. The company the largest telecommunications apparatus manufacturer in the world, but concerns about Huawei’s attribute to the Chinese supervision has mostly kept its apparatus out of the US.
A report from The Information claims that the same “political pressure” conditions happened here. Apparently members of the US Senate and House Intelligence Committee sent a minute to the FCC citing a cabinet report of Huawei’s purported ties to the Chinese government, and the minute pronounced that “additional work by the Intelligence Committees on this subject only reinforces concerns per Huawei and Chinese espionage.”
Huawei has ceaselessly denied allegations that it spies for China.