Thursday, 22 March 2018 11:23

Best Buy to stop selling Huawei phones: report Featured

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Chinese telecommunications provider Huawei is facing another setback in the US, with the multinational electronics corporation Best Buy deciding to take its phones off their shelves in the next few weeks.

Technology website CNET cited a source as saying that the decision to end the relationship had been taken by the retailer. At the moment, the retailer still lists Huawei models.

No details were provided with Best Buy telling the site: ""We don't comment on specific contracts with vendors, and we make decisions to change what we sell for a variety of reasons."

Last year, Best Buy stopped selling Kaspersky Lab software shortly before a ban on the use of the software in the US public service was announced.

Huawei has faced plenty of problems in the US this year, with the most recent being when President Donald Trump ruled out the possibility of Singapore-based Broadcom buying processor maker Qualcomm because of what were claimed to be national security concerns. Broadcom's ties to Huawei were mentioned as a reason.

In January, a deal for AT&T to sell Huawei phones on plans was cancelled at the last minute.

And following that, Verizon was reported to have yielded to pressure from the US Government to stop selling Huawei devices.

In February, US intelligence chiefs warned against the use of Huawei equipment, with the head of the FBI, Christopher Wray, telling a US Senate hearing: "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."

An indication of the level of paranoia about Huawei in the US can be gauged from the fact that the NSA hacked into the company's servers in Shenzhen in 2010, according to documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.

The US has also put pressure on Australia to cut out the use of Huawei products in any future 5G deployments.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was warned, during a visit to the US in February, not to allow Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to supply equipment for any future 5G networks, indicating that there are security risks involved.

Canberra denied Huawei any role in supplying equipment to the country's national broadband network project about six years ago, following advice by ASIS, one of its spy agencies.

Last year, Australia put pressure on the Solomon Islands to drop Huawei as the main contractor for an undersea cable project. The project was later awarded to the Vocus Group.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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