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"Political pressure" reportedly kills Huawei/AT&T smartphone deal

Source: Verizon also under pressure to cancel upcoming Huawei phone launch

Instead, Huawei may have to sell the Mate 10 Pro via online channels that could restrict the uptake of the device.

The news is a huge blow to Huawei, now the third largest smartphone maker in the world after Apple and Samsung, and will roll back the company's plan to establish a larger presence in the United States starting this year.

According to the Wall Street Journal, AT&T, which is the second-largest provider of mobile phone services in the U.S. in terms of subscribers, changed its mind about a deal to sell Huawei phones. The Wall Street Journal and The Verge both reported that AT&T backed out of the deal for some unknown reason. The company provided no explanation on why the rumored partnership was called off, which, according to reports, was scheduled for announcement at the CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

Huawei's flagship device - the Huawei Mate 10 Pro was gearing up to be available in the USA through a partnership with network carrier AT&T.

In 2012, Huawei and ZTE were the subject of a USA investigation that looked into whether the companies' equipment provided an opportunity for greater foreign espionage and threatened critical USA infrastructure - a link that Huawei has consistently denied. No explanation for the decision has been given, and a Huawei spokesperson would only say that "Huawei has proven itself by delivering premium devices with integrity globally and in the USA market". "United States customers need a better choice, and as a leader in technology and innovation, Huawei is prepared to fill this need", the Chinese telecom equipment giant said.

A deal between Chinese smartphone maker Huawei and AT&T to sell smartphones in the United States has fallen apart, U.S. business media reported Tuesday, January 9.

For now, part of Huawei's plan is to reach out to US consumers using alternative channels such as online and physical retail stores. That may be good news for consumers, but that not might bode well for Huawei.

A report from The Information claims that the same "political pressure" situation happened here. Members of the Senate and the House intelligence committees actually sent out a letter on December 20 to the FCC raising concerns over Huawei's alleged ties to the Chinese government and its intelligence and security services. The congress members were concerned that Huawei was closely tied to the Communist Party as well as to intelligence services in China.