Huawei Technologies’ deal with US mobile carrier AT&T to distribute the Chinese company’s smartphones in the North American market has collapsed at the last minute, with sources citing political pressure from the US side as a major cause, according to the South China Morning Post.
Experts and a former Chinese commerce official told the SCMP that the collapse of the Huawei-AT&T deal, which the companies were expected to announce on Tuesday, could threaten Sino-US trade ties, and that China should consider “countermeasures” if the situation escalates.
A report in The Information claims that AT&T came under pressure to cancel the deal in late December, when members of the US Senate and House Intelligence committees sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission expressing concern about the Chinese company’s plans.
“Investment cooperation between China and the US will be squeezed,” He Weiwen, a former business counselor at the Chinese consulate in New York, told the SCMP. “The US is very worried about the impact in the US from the growth of China’s hi-tech industry. It is worried that Chinese companies will transfer US technology through mergers and acquisitions.”