- Rick Wilking/Reuters
- Verizon is reportedly cancelling its plans to offer the Huawei Mate 10 Pro amid an ongoing investigation of Chinese-made telecom equipment.
- AT&T also dropped its deal with Huawei to offer the Mate 10 Pro due to political pressure in January 8.
- The US government’s concern is over the Mate 10 Pro’s 5G capabilities and Huawei’s alleged ties to the Chinese government.
Verizon is following AT&T’s lead and cancelling plans to sell Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro smartphone that boasts support for the upcoming super-fast 5G network, according to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday.
Verizon’s decision is reportedly based on political pressure from the US government, which is seeing a reinvigorated fear of spying from China as US regulators urged an investigation of Chinese-made telecom equipment in December 2017. It’s the same reason AT&T dropped its deal with Huawei to offer the Mate 10 Pro on January 8.
Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro with 5G networking capabilities seemingly falls under the category of Chinese-made telecom equipment under investigation, as the company has been accused of having ties with the Chinese government.
Previous Huawei devices have been sold by AT&T and Verizon in the past, but those devices didn’t support the 5G network. And it’s the 5G capabilities that the US government is concerned about. A phone with Chinese 5G networking equipment could feasibly allow a backdoor to US network activity for the Chinese government.
5G is the upcoming evolution of the current 4G LTE network that most mobile devices use to send and receive data. 5G will be used for far more than simple mobile data, as it will offer the speed and bandwidth required for more complex communications for autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence.
Despite two major US carriers dropping the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, the device still appears as “Coming Soon” on electronics retailers like Best Buy. Verizon declined to comment and Huawei was not immediately available for comment.