Lawmakers Pushing AT&T To Cut All Ties With Huawei

Posted January 17, 2018

One aide also signaled that maintaining ties could make it more hard for US companies to do business with Washington.

The move, which congressional aides said is motivated by national security concerns, comes amid mounting pressure from the government to curb Chinese firms' entry into USA markets.

However, according to the aides, Senators and Representatives want AT&T to halt this collaborative effort with Huawei. The government also wants Cricket, an AT&T subsidiary, to stop selling Huawei-branded smartphones. Worries over potential Chinese government spying via China-based companies are nothing new, but officials have been, both officially and unofficially, increasingly vocal about these potential issues.

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The trade war works both ways: Google and Facebook have always been banned from the China market. "This accords with the joint interests of both", Lu said in Beijing.

China Mobile, the largest wireless provider in the world, has been trying to get a license to operate in the United States, but has so far been stymied. This morning, Reuters is confirming speculation that AT&T's last minute decision to pull out of a deal with the Chinese phone maker comes as us lawmakers applied pressure on the carrier.

The US government has also blocked a string of Chinese acquisitions over national security concerns, including Ant Financial's proposed purchase of US money transfer firm MoneyGram.

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In 2012, Huawei and fellow Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE were the subject of a United States investigation into whether their equipment provide an opportunity for foreign espionage and threaten critical U.S. infrastructure. "The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications", said Michael Wessel of a US-Chain security review commission.

Huawei hasn't commented on this report but it did point out to the scribe that it sells its equipment through more than 45 of the top 50 carriers in the world and views the privacy and security of its customers as a top priority.

A new report by Reuters now indicates that USA officials are now pressuring companies like AT&T and Verizon to avoid doing any business with Huawei whatsoever, including using their gear for deployment of fifth-generation (5G) wireless.

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Even if the bill passes, ZTE and Huawei will still be able to sell their smartphones and service in the United States without restrictions, but many companies that are doing business with the U.S. government will certainly avoid them.