U.S. Government Attempting to Stop Apple Smartphone Competitor Huawei from Entering the U.S. Market via AT&T
Apple competitor Huawei was set to enter the U.S. market with AT&T when the U.S. government stepped in. Earlier this month, AT&T was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers Huawei handsets after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators.
Reuters now reports that sources have confirmed to them that "U.S. lawmakers are urging AT&T to cut commercial ties to Chinese phone maker Huawei and oppose plans by telecom operator China Mobile Ltd to enter the U.S. market because of national security concerns, two congressional aides said.
The lawmakers are also advising U.S. firms that if they have ties to Huawei or China Mobile, it could hamper their ability to do business with the U.S. government,
The lawmakers are also advising U.S. firms that if they have ties to Huawei or China Mobile, it could hamper their ability to do business with the U.S. government, one aide said, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
One of the commercial ties senators and House members want AT&T to cut is its collaboration with Huawei over standards for the high-speed next generation 5G networ. Another is the use of Huawei handsets by AT&T's discount subsidiary Cricket.
Huawei declined to comment, but earlier this week told Reuters that it sells its equipment through more than 45 of the world's top 50 carriers and puts the privacy and security of its customers as its top priority.
National security experts fear that any data from a Huawei device, for example about the location of the phone's user, would be available to Chinese government intelligence services. For more on this read the full Reuters report here.
In December Patently Apple posted two reports on Huawei. The first report was titled "Head of Sales at Huawei Arrested on Suspicion of Taking Bribes," while the second report was titled "IDC Researcher Claims Huawei likely to Overtake Apple in 2018." There's no doubt that we'll hear from some critics and conspiracists that it's simply a plot to protect Apple.
Without being able to enter the U.S. market, IDC's forecast of Huawei overtaking Apple as the second largest smartphone maker in the world isn't going to materialize. Whether Shanghai's inquiry into the slowing iPhone issue was coincidentally timed or the beginning of China retaliating against Apple for the U.S. shutting out Huawei is unknown at this time.
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