Huawei is a leading Chinese smartphone maker and for quite some time now the company has been looking to establish a presence in the US market. However, its efforts have not been successful and the future is looking bleaker by the day. Earlier this week, top intelligence officials from the FBI, CIA, and NSA reaffirmed that they still had surveillance concerns about Huawei and ZTE.
This is not the first time that the two companies are facing issues in their efforts to penetrate the US market. Their troubles started way back in 2012 after the House Intelligence Committee said that the two companies posed a serious security threat to US consumers due to their close ties with the Chinese government. A year later, the two phone companies were banned from selling their products in the US market. And it doesn’t seem like this position will change anytime soon.
In another hearing held on Thursday this week, FBI director Chris Wray confirmed that the ban still stands and remains the right thing to do. Wray said that the FBI is deeply concerned about the risk of allowing any company that has close ties with a foreign government to gain positions of power within the US telecommunications networks.
In a response to this latest setback, Huawei accused the US government of inhibiting its business in the US. The company added that Huawei is a brand trusted by governments in over 170 countries around the world. The Chinese smartphone maker also denied that there were any cybersecurity risks in its phones.
The frustrations of accessing the US market have been very evident among Huawei top executives. In the CES speech, the company’s CEO Richard Yu said that he didn’t understand why the US was citing security issues with its phones yet its smartphones had made major progress in attracting customers in China and Europe. Yu noted that Huawei had not only won the trust of all Chinese carriers but had also done the same with some of the major European carriers.
A deal with AT&T that would have seen the smartphone company enter the US market failed to go through at the last minute. Huawei blamed this on the interference by US lawmakers who have warned against the purchase of the company’s mobile phone hardware.
The Chinese company saw this as a huge blow. A huge portion of smartphone sales in the US goes through carriers. AT&T is one of the major American carriers and a deal with them would have opened the doors for Huawei to finally penetrate the US market.
The company is expected to continue pushing for a spot in the US phone market though. This could take a long time and unless there is a significant shift in security policies, things might not change anytime soon. Nonetheless, the company has already made significant progress in other major markets around the world.