China warns of United States protectionism after Huawei setback

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The failure of the deal with AT&T could be a big loss for the world's third-largest smartphone maker by market share.

In a speech given by the CEO of Huawei's consumer products division, Richard Yu, during the CES 2018, the executive went "off-script" to address the issue.

It also can not be ruled out that AT&T may have been under pressure from Apple and Samsung to abort the Huawei deal as both companies carry some weight for being the two largest players in the global market.

While Huawei has been selling unlocked units of their flagships through online stores in the US, they are yet to carry out sales through major carriers like AT&T - which remains to be a popular choice among Americans when purchasing new handsets.

The collapse of the deal coincides with United States politicians expressing concerns that Huawei is a security threat.

"Everybody knows that in the United States market that over 90 percent of smartphones are sold by carrier channels", Yu said.

AT&T was said to have a deal lined up with Huawei to sell the Mate 10, but has since changed its plans, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

A second deal with Verizon is looking unlikely, with the carrier also under political pressure to cancel a planned summer launch of the Mate 10 Pro, according to Android Police. But it has never managed to crack the U.S., and the firm will have to rethink its expansion plans after this latest blow. Now that the deal is off, the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro will now only be available in stores like Amazon and Best Buy. Gal Gadot will be Huawei's first Chief Experience Officer.

Privately-held Huawei has denied any accusations that the company is controlled by the Chinese government, and said it has cooperated with investigations from the USA government. He does not comment on why the deal has failed, but said it was a "big loss for consumers because they would not have the best choice for their devices". At the time, Huawei hit out at global "protectionism". Despite that, the probe led to a de facto ban on Huawei participating in any telecom projects in the US.

The bill introduced this week would prohibit the federal government "from using or contracting with an entity that uses" telecommunications equipment or services from by Huawei or ZTE, or any of their subsidiaries.

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