Things are still looking pretty bleak for Huawei’s plans to conquer the U.S. market. Earlier this week, half a dozen top members of intelligence agencies, including the FBI, CIA and NSA reaffirmed surveillance concerns about the company and fellow Chinese smartphone maker ZTE.
All of this is nothing new, of course. The companies’ troubles date back at least as far back as 2012, when a House Intelligence Committee cited both as a potential security risks over close ties to the Chinese government. The following year, they were both barred from selling product to the U.S. government.
FBI director Chris Wray echoed those concerns during a hearing Tuesday, stating, “We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.”
Huawei has since issued a response, accusing the government of “inhibiting [its] business in the U.S. market” and adding, “Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide and poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities.”
The letter closely echoed the statements of an angry Richard Yu on stage last month at CES. “We’ve won the trust of the Chinese carriers,” Yu fumed at the company’s keynote. “We’ve also won spots on all of the European carriers.”
That off-the-cuff speech came after an AT&T deal fell through last second, seemingly at the behest of the same lawmakers warning against purchasing the company’s hardware. It was a big blow for the company, given that a majority of U.S. phone purchases still go through carriers.
Meantime, Huawei has attempted to double down on non-carrier retailers here the States. That aggressive push, however, has put the company in even more hot water, as fake reviews for its flagship the Mate 10 Pro have reportedly surfaced on Best Buy’s website, apparently linked to a Facebook contest spurred on by Huawei.