Verizon quits selling Huawei smartphones in the US

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The US government's concern is over the Mate 10 Pro's 5G capabilities and Huawei's alleged ties to the Chinese government.

Huawei's ambitions to sell its phones in the USA appear to remain just out of reach.

Verizon won't sell any Huawei phones, including the new flagship Mate 10 Pro, because of pressure from the USA government, anonymous sources told Bloomberg yesterday.

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The move follows AT&T Inc.'s decision earlier this month not to introduce the Mate 10 Pro to the USA market. Huawei wants to be one of the first manufacturers to offer 5G phones, but the U.S. government's concern about Chinese spying means those phones will be unavailable at United States carriers when they begin rolling out.

A Verizon spokesman declined to comment when contacted by eWEEK on whether such plans were being considered and whether they had been dropped. While Huawei sells unlocked phones that can still work on Verizon and AT&T networks, having its phones sold by a major U.S. carrier would have allowed it to reach more consumers than before and raise its reputation in the US. Those devices previously sold on USA carriers did not support 5G, but the Mate 10 Pro will.

Huawei came under USA scrutiny in 2003, when Cisco Systems Inc. sued its China-based rival, accusing it of stealing software code for its network routers. Thus far, ZTE hasn't met the same level of pushback from the US government as Huawei has.

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At CES 2018, Huawei CEO Richard Yu reflected on his company's troubles with US wireless carriers. That document cited China and Chinese equipment makers, like Huawei, and said that their technologies could be used to spy on Americans and American activities. The company still seems massively successful in other countries, so this move will likely not be the end of Huawei.

ZTE plans to introduce a 5G-capable device in the year-end or in early 2019, Lixin Cheng, chief executive officer of the company's mobile-device business, told Bloomberg News this month.

"The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications", said Michael Wessel of a US-China security review commission.

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