13 Jan 11:00am
Will AT&T’s call to drop Huawei end phone maker’s US hopes?
Loss of the deal with the giant mobile carrier has put a huge obstacle in the way of the Chinese firm’s ambition of conquering the American marketAmid the glitz and glamour of the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas last week, one piece of news struck a particularly sour note for Chinese phone-maker Huawei. Despite months of preparation, the giant US mobile carrier AT&T announced last Monday that it was pulling out of a deal to sell Huawei’s smartphones. The decision was taken as a result of political pressure on AT&T by American politicians, who had written to the telecoms regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – which must approve the sale of phones and other devices in the US – saying they had “long been concerned about Chinese espionage in general, and Huawei’s role in that espionage in particular”. Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer division, was obliged to go through the motions at CES of introducing his new Mate 10 phone, having seen planned marketing spending of $100m and assurances of no government interference turn to ashes. Like