Lawmakers Urging AT&T to Cut Remaining Ties to Huawei

Phillip Butler
January 17, 2018

Congressman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) introduced a bill last week called "The Defending U.S. Government Communications Act" which would prohibit the U.S. government from purchasing or leasing telecommunications equipment and/or services from Huawei and another Chinese firm ZTE. These include the acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor by the Chinese-owned Canyon Bridge Fund and the proposed acquisition of MoneyGram by China's Ant Financial. With so much of the production of silicon already taking place in China, there's nearly no way to avoid it if rogue actors did want to get in. 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.

Chinese commercial technology is a vehicle for the Chinese government to spy on United States federal agencies, posing a severe national security threat.

A Bill has been put before Congress that bars the U.S. government from buying ZTE or Huawei equipment.

Huawei was recently dealt a heavy blow with regards to USA support, and the situation may be about to get worse for the Chinese manufacturer.

AT&T and other telecom giants are being warned to avoid doing business with Chinese hardware manufacturer Huawei if they want to be able to secure government contracts.

"The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications", said Michael Wessel, a member of the congressionally-established U.S.

Only a week earlier at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, took the stage expected to announce AT&T as the US carrier partner for Huawei's flagship Mate 10 Pro smartphone that is being released in the United States.

Neither of the companies offered official statements, but AT&T did tell Reuters that it's yet to make a decision on 5G suppliers.

House members reportedly want AT&T to shelve its partnership with Huawei over standards for its 5G network.

In 2012, Huawei and ZTE Corp were the subject of a USA investigation into whether their equipment provided an opportunity for foreign espionage and threatened critical US infrastructure - a link that Huawei has consistently denied. China Mobile has wanted to do business in the USA since at 2011, but some lawmakers insist their introduction risks damaging national security as well, Reuters reported. Due to this bill, Huawei has already lost their deal to AT&T resulting in the company's CEO to go off script at CES presentation.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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