Huawei Exec: Networking Giant No Longer Interested in U.S. Market
U.S. concerns about Huawei’s relationship with the Chinese government have made it too difficult to sell networking gear in this country, officials say.Huawei Technologies, apparently worn down by allegations from U.S. lawmakers that the Chinese tech vendor represents a security threat to companies and individuals, is abandoning attempts to grow its presence in the U.S. market. Executives with Huawei, a key competitor to Cisco Systems, said during an analyst conference April 23 that the company will now focus its telecommunications and networking efforts in other parts of the world. Responding to a question about congressional leaders' view of Huawei and fellow Chinese tech vendor ZTE, Eric Xu, Huawei executive vice president and one of Huawei's rotating CEOs, shot back that the company is dropping its efforts in the United States. "We are not interested in the U.S. market anymore," Xu said, according to Reuters. "Generally speaking, it's not a market that we pay much attention to." U.S. lawmakers have voiced concerns over the past couple of years about the close ties between the Chinese government and Huawei and ZTE, and that the vendors' telecommunications equipment could be leveraged by the Chinese government to spy on the U.S. government, businesses or people. U.S. officials have been vocal about the number of cyber-attacks in recent years that the Chinese government is rumored to have been behind, even if no direct ties have been found.
A report by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee in October 2012 reiterated those concerns and cautioned U.S. telecommunications companies about doing business with Huawei and ZTE. In addition, in March it was reported that as a condition of approving the deal between Softbank and Sprint, the two companies needed to meet national security standards, including not using Huawei equipment. Sprint doesn't use Huawei technology in its own networks, but has agreed to replace Huawei technology in its Clearwire subsidiary.