ATT has pulled a deal to sell Huawei mobile phones at the eleventh hour, an embarrassment for the Chinese electronics giant that spoiled its ambitious plans to crack the US market.
Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer division, was expected to reveal the breakthrough deal in a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Tuesday evening.
Instead, Huawei said it would be selling its flagship device, the Mate 10 Pro, directly to consumers. It is believed the deal was pulled after senators raised security concerns with the Federal Communications Commission, the US telecoms regulator.
Huawei has long been viewed with suspicion in Washington because of alleged links to the Chinese government.
The majority of phones in the US are sold directly through operators, but Huawei, the world’s third biggest smartphone maker, has never been able to agree a deal. The Chinese company has been dogged by claims that its phones and telecoms equipment are used to spy on the West for Beijing.