Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

US Congress reportedly lobbied AT&T to dump Huawei smartphones

US Congress reportedly lobbied AT&T to dump Huawei smartphones

The bill that was made public this Friday is supposed to prevent the federal government from working with companies that use equipment made by Huawei and ZTE, or their services.

According to Reuters, US authorities are anxious that the wireless carrier's increasingly close ties with the Chinese company - founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in the People's Liberation Army - claiming that it poses "national security concerns".

According to the outlet's sources, AT&T's hand was forced when members of Congress lobbied against its plan to offer Huawei handsets through its carrier subsidy program.

It wouldn't be the first intervention by the US government under President Donald Trump to rein in US-China trade.

Donald Trump, best known as executive producer of two episodes of MTV's 'The Girls of Hesdor Hall", has already said that he intends to crack down on Chinese investments, including takeovers of U.S. companies like Motorola and their handling of the "North Korea problem'.

Huawei is one of the world's biggest smartphone manufacturers but it doesn't sell its smartphones through carriers in the United States.

These concerns continue to plague the companies to this day, however, and may have played a role in AT&T's recent decision to walk away from a deal that would have resulted in it selling Huawei's Mate 10 phones in the US. In particular, the two companies have been discussing standards for 5G technology, which AT&T hopes to implement this year.

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 moves come after the USA government banned a series of attempted takeovers of United States tech companies from Micron to Lattice.

During 2012, both ZTE Corp and Huawei were investigated by the US about whether equipment from the two provided any opportunity for threatening critical infrastructure in the USA, which Huawei has always denied. That case was settled out of court.

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

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