The story appears on

Page A12

January 17, 2018

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Business » IT

Political pressure hits AT&T-Huawei deal

US lawmakers are urging AT&T, the No. 2 wireless carrier, to cut commercial ties to Chinese phone maker Huawei and oppose plans by telecom operator China Mobile to enter the US market over so-called national security concerns, two congressional aides said.

China calls for a fair operating environment for its companies.

Earlier this month, AT&T was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers Huawei handsets after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators, sources said.

The lawmakers are also advising US firms that if they have ties to Huawei or China Mobile, it could hamper their ability to do business with the US government, one aide said, requesting anonymity.

One of the commercial ties senators and House members want AT&T to cut is its collaboration with Huawei over standards for the high-speed next-generation 5G network, the aides said. Another is the use of Huawei handsets by AT&T’s discount subsidiary Cricket, the aides said.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said yesterday that he did not know anything about the details of the commercial cooperation cases, but added China hopes other countries would provide a fair operating environment for Chinese companies.

“We hope that China and the United States can work hard together to maintain the healthy and stable development of trade and business ties. This accords with the joint interests of both,” Lu said in Beijing.

Huawei said earlier this week that it sells its equipment through more than 45 of the world’s top 50 carriers and puts the privacy and security of its customers as its top priority.

In 2012, Huawei and ZTE, a Chinese telecom equipment maker, were the subject of a US investigation into whether their equipment provided an opportunity for foreign espionage and threatened critical US infrastructure — a link that Huawei has consistently denied.

US lawmakers do not want China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile phone operator, to be given a license to do business in the US, the congressional aides said. China Mobile applied for the license in 2011, and the application is pending before the Federal Communications Commission.

Huawei and Chinese telecom firms have long struggled to gain a toehold in the US market, partly because of US government pressure on potential US partners.

Two Republican lawmakers, Michael Conaway and Liz Cheney, unveiled a bill this week that bars the US government from using or contracting with Huawei or ZTE.



Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend