US Congress reportedly lobbied AT&T to dump Huawei smartphones

US Congress reportedly lobbied AT&T to dump Huawei smartphones

US Congress reportedly lobbied AT&T to dump Huawei smartphones

While Trump administration protectionism might otherwise be blamed for the recent Congressional actions, investigations into Huawei's and ZTE's potential threats to critical USA infrastructure date back to at least 2012, when 60 Minutes and the aforementioned House report spotlighted the concerns.

At issue are long-simmering concerns that Chinese technology makers will allow their government to install technology that could spy on U.S. users.

"The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications".

The U.S. government has also blocked a string of Chinese acquisitions over national security concerns, including Ant Financial's proposed purchase of U.S. money transfer company MoneyGram International Inc. Even the use of Huawei handsets by AT&T's Cricket subsidiary is believed to be not acceptable. The wireless carrier earlier this month backed out of a planned deal to carry the Mate 10 Pro, and now they may be forced to end discussions on standards for a high-speed 5G network.

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China Mobile, the largest mobile phone operator in the world, did not answer requests to make a comment. 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.

It builds on past action against Huawei (the world's top seller of telecom equipment) and ZTE (ranked fifth), which included a ban on ZTE selling products to the U.S. government agencies in 2013.

Huawei has already told Reuters that it works with 45 of the worlds Top 50 carriers and that privacy and security are a top priority. To that end, Texas Representative Mike Conaway introduced a bill last week called Defending U.S. Government Communications Act, which aims to ban United States government agencies from using phones and equipment from the companies.

Additionally AT&T is being asked to oppose plans to let China Mobile enter the USA market, calling into question the fate of the telecom's application before the Federal Communications Commission, the report said. In 2011, the two companies were the subject of a report from the House of Representative's Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which recommended that the United States government be prohibited from buying Huawei and ZTE products, as well as continued vigilance, investigation, and legislation to address the concerns.

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