2016 is known as the year that the Nexus brand was retired. With Huawei being the last smartphone maker to create a Nexus device with Google. Many were hoping that they would get another chance at making a device with Google, after all the Nexus 6P was one of the most popular Nexus smartphones ever, and it received nothing but great reviews. But Google decided to go with the Pixel brand this year, and as most of you know, despite it being "Made by Google", HTC was actually contracted to make the device. HTC was the original Nexus manufacturer, so in a way, Google was going back to their roots. Now there's already been some reports out that talked about why Huawei skipped out on the Pixel project this year, and now there's another report out confirming those earlier reports.
Huawei ultimately decided not to work with Google on the Pixel smartphones this year due to branding. Knowing that their devices that they made with Google would not bear their own branding, Huawei felt it wasn't a good fit for them. Not surprising, considering Huawei has been working hard over the past few years to make a name for themselves in North America. And sinking in all this time into the Pixel smartphone wouldn't do much to help them out. But this doesn't mean that Huawei won't be working with Google on the Pixel program in the future. It's currently being rumored that Huawei may be working with Google in 2017 on a Pixel device that will have Huawei's branding on it.
While Huawei has had issues expanding into the US in the past few years, the Nexus 6P was perhaps the smartphone that gained the most traction for the Chinese manufacturer here. But working on a phone that has none of your branding on it, and offering it in a market that you are looking to crack, definitely isn't a good thing. So it makes sense for Huawei. But with the popularity of the Nexus 6P, it's not surprising to see Google working with them on a new Pixel device for next year.