Verizon Reportedly Drops Plans to Sell Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Huawei has substantial traction in markets like Europe and China, but hasn’t managed to get a foothold in the United States. It’s sold smartphones from US retailers including Best Buy, Amazon, B&H, and others for years, but that’s no substitute for shelves in wireless carrier stores. To that end, it planned to launch a flagship smartphone, the Mate 10 Pro, on AT&T this year, but those plans fell through at the last second. And according to Bloomberg, a separate partnership with Verizon Wireless is off the table, too.
Verizon was pressured by the US government not to sell smartphones from Huawei, according to the report. The companies declined to comment.
Before the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, we heard reports that Huawei had been in talks with both AT&T and Verizon Wireless to get its phones on store shelves. The company was so confident in a deal that it told the public it had “big plans” to announce at CES 2018. But things didn’t go according to plan, which seems to have really hurt Huawei’s momentum.
Huawei was hit with more bad news in early January when a new bill in Congress proposed banning government agencies from using Huawei and ZTE equipment. And this week, a leaked memo from the White House National Security Council floated the idea of a nationalized 5G network designed to protect against “foreign actors” like Huawei.
They aren’t the company’s first run-ins with the government. Huawei came under US scrutiny in 2003, when Cisco accused it of stealing router firmware code. In 2012, the government blacklisted Huawei and ZTE, and the House Intelligence Committee urged US companies to avoid entering into contracts with the companies. Huawei was subsequently labeled a “spy threat”.
“We serve 170 countries,” Richard Yu, Huawei’s consumer products chief, said in an impassioned speech during the company’s CES press conference. “And for 30 years we’ve proven our quality and we’ve proven our privacy and security protection.”