Washington isn't afraid that Huawei's equipment poses a security risk for the United States but is only concerned about the company's competitiveness and doesn't want to enable its continued expansion, according to Richard Yu, Chief Executive Officer of the firm's consumer electronics group. While speaking on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress with BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones, Mr. Yu suggested the U.S. politicians are only worried about the company being "too strong," without elaborating on the matter. The head of the firm's mobile unit used the opportunity to once again dismiss allegations claiming Huawei's close ties to Beijing make it a security threat to other nations.
Concerns about Huawei have been expressed by several heads of U.S. intelligence agencies and Washington is now understood to be on an offensive, warning its allies to not forge partnerships with Huawei. While the push against the Chinese tech giant started after Huawei and AT&T reached a retail agreement that was meant to see its smartphones launched in the U.S. through a wireless carrier for the first time ever, most industry watchers believe mobile devices aren't the main reason for federal efforts to block Huawei's stateside ambitions. Instead, intelligence communities are understood to be wary of Huawei's networking equipment and are trying to discourage mobile service providers in the country from using the company's infrastructure for their 5G deployment efforts, citing spying concerns.
While some telecom giants in other parts of the world recently came to Huawei's defense, claiming they never suspected any foul play with the firm's equipment over many years of collaboration involving rigorous security testing, the company's chances of establishing a major foothold in the U.S. remain slim for the time being. In the meantime, Huawei is shifting its resources to other parts of the world and is placing a particular focus on Europe where both its main brand and Honor already have a significant presence. The company is presently involved in 5G deployment across a broad range of countries including the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. Its next high-profile consumer products are scheduled to be launched on March 27 at a dedicated event in Paris where Huawei is expected to announce the P20 lineup of Android flagships.