Huawei has had a rough time of it in the U.S.
No one can say for sure if the reason for their poor performance stateside is due to something that the company has done, or if consumer skepticism comes from its nation of manufacture. The problems didn’t start with the Trump administration, and according to the Verge, they don’t end at the U.S. border, either.
“The US government is attempting to persuade allies to stop using Huawei equipment due to security fears, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Sources claim that US government officials have met with counterparts in Germany, Japan, and Italy, and are reportedly considering offering financial incentives to countries who opt not to use equipment from the Chinese manufacturer.”
It is one thing to ban the use of a company’s equipment in one’s own country. But it is quite another to pressure your allies to enforce the same ban. The article goes on to explain why more than mere politics are in play.
“However, there are now fears that US military bases located overseas could be made vulnerable to hacking attempts if their internet traffic travels over commercial networks in other countries built using Huawei hardware. The roll-out of new 5G networks also adds additional security concerns.”
There has been scant evidence presented to the public illustrating that Huawei should be considered untrustworthy. There have been prominent public statements related to national security and personal privacy, however.
Huawei almost broke through into the U.S. market with the well-reviewed — and much anticipated — P20 Pro. But AT&T backed out at the last minute. Verizon did the same.
Relations with China have been cooling for some time, and along several vectors. The Super Micro Chinese spy chip story from Bloomberg a couple of months ago fed into many latent fears that China is using IT hardware from its “independent” companies to spy on the U.S. There was another story, soon after, about China and Russia spying on the President’s iPhone.
ZTE has also been caught up in the net of suspicion. It is another Chinese electronics company that has found itself on the wrong side of American market suspicion. It must be noted that the vast majority of American consumer and business tech is made in China. If Foxconn ever came under this type of suspicion from the U.S. government, it would likely bring the worldwide tech industry to its knees.