Huawei says botched US deal a loss for consumers


Posted at Jan 16 2018 03:24 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2018 03:36 PM

A crew hangs a Huawei advertising banner on the side of the Las Vegas Convention Center as workers prepare for the 2018 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 5, 2018. Steve Marcus, Reuters

Chinese electronics giant Huawei has rued how a planned partnership with US carriers fell through, saying it deprived consumers of the "best choice."

On the eve of the launch of Huawei's flagship Mate 10 Pro at the Consumer and Electronics Show in Las Vegas, media reports said a deal with AT&T fell through, leaving the Chinese firm to sell the phone unlocked and without carrier subsidies.

"I think it's a big loss for us and also for carriers, but more (a) big loss for consumers because consumers don't have the best choice," said Richard Chen, CEO of the company's consumer division.

Chen said Huawei in recent years had risen from an unknown brand to the world's third largest smartphone vendor, next only to market leader Samsung and Apple.

"We are winning the trust of global consumers, Europe and developing countries," Chen told his audience at the CES in Las Vegas. "Unfortunately, we cannot have this from (US) carriers."

Huawei has "improved our security, privacy protection," Chen said.

Lawmakers in the US had expressed concerns over data privacy regarding Huawei, which also provides telecommunications infrastructure, according to a letter from the US House and Senate intelligence panels that was seen by news agency AFP.

An editorial in the official China Daily last week attributed the termination of the Huawei-AT&T deal to political pressure instead of business considerations, and said this scuppers the kind of win-win deals China has always sought.

"This is not the first time US politicians have stooped to mudslinging to prevent the entry of Chinese high-tech companies into the US market on the pretext they pose national security threats," said the China Daily.

China's commerce ministry also said protectionist sentiment was rising in the United States after Chinese company Ant Financial's plan to buy US money transfer firm MoneyGram International Inc collapsed.

In the Philippines, Huawei sells its phones unlocked and through carriers Globe and Smart.

Smart parent PLDT Inc said it forged a $28-million ($1.4 billion) deal with Huawei to improved its services.