For those in charge of Huawei, 2018 was going to be a banner year: They were going to get a flagship smartphone onto a wireless carrier in the United States and finally make some inroads with U.S. customers.
Huawei has had its sights set on expanding into the U.S. wireless market in a major way for years. Way back in 2010, for instance, Huawei said that wasn’t giving up on the untapped market. But, much like back then, it doesn’t look like Huawei has an easy road ahead of it.
This time around, Huawei is actually losing any support it might have in the United States, all thanks to pressure applied by the United States government, citing national security concerns. That started with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro getting its launch at AT&T canceled, and subsequently, every other major wireless carrier in the U.S. opting out of working with the smartphone manufacturer based out of China as well.
Another big blow came when it was confirmed that Best Buy was removing Huawei-branded products from its store shelves as well. There aren’t many retailers still selling Huawei products, which doesn’t give Huawei a lot of wiggle room to achieve its long-gestating goals.
That doesn’t mean they’re giving up, though. In an email sent to CNET, Huawei’s CEO of the consumer business group, Richard Yu, said:
“We are committed to the US market and to earning the trust of US consumers by staying focused on delivering world-class products and innovation. We would never compromise that trust.”
According to Yu, the United States government’s warnings about Huawei are “groundless suspicions”, calling them “quite frankly unfair”. Huawei says it’s open to conversations with the U.S. government as long as the talks are “based on facts”.
Huawei has been working for so long to get into the U.S. market, but this latest road block is the biggest yet. The argument that Huawei should simply continue to focus on markets where its handsets and other devices are readily available seems pretty sound, especially considering how large a presence Huawei is internationally. In the U.S., the fight against Apple, Samsung, and even the likes of HTC, LG, and Motorola might prove pretty tough.