Chinese tech giant Huawei, already shut out by the top U.S. wireless carriers, is reportedly losing one of its existing paths to the U.S. market.
CNET, citing a person familiar with the matter, reports that Best Buy stopped ordering Huawei’s products and will phase them out of their stores and website in coming weeks.
The electronics retailer and tech company did not comment in the report, but the move comes amid heavy pressure from lawmakers and the intelligence community on Huawei over its ties to Beijing — and their implications for cybersecurity and potential espionage.
The world’s third-largest smartphone maker had reached an agreement with AT&T — a deal with a major carrier that would give the company much more access to the U.S. wireless market — only to see it scuttled under pressure from Washington on the eve of an announcement.
Verizon also indicated earlier this year it would not sell Huawei phones.
CNET noted that Best Buy, the nation’s largest electronics chain, was one of the few places that U.S. consumers could see Huawei devices up close. Global Data’s Avi Greengart, who recently recommended steps Huawei and fellow Chinese phone maker ZTE could take to ease U.S. concerns, told the publication the move was “devastating for Huawei.”
Huawei officials have defended their security record, and the company’s sales chief told reporters earlier this month that Huawei would continue to invest in the U.S.