>> AT&T recently ditched plans to sell phones made by China's Huawei and now Reuters is learning why. Congressional sources reveal lawmakers warned AT&T to stay away from doing business with Huawei. Reuters' Washington correspondent Diane Bartz broke the exclusive Tuesday.>> The concerns that people have about Huawei are national security concerns.
There are people who say that any company that works in China basically has to do the bidding of the Chinese government. So if the Chinese government has questions about the location of a person with a Huawei phone, that that information would be given to the Chinese government. And it could potentially be valuable for espionage purposes.
>> That's the reason why lawmakers also want to block Chinese phone company, China Mobile, from getting any US action. The telecom industry isn't alone in feeling the pressure. Washington has blocked a number of Chinese acquisitions of US companies based on national security concerns, including the sale of MoneyGram to Ant Financial, a Chinese firm owned in part by Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
AT&T declined to comment on the suggestion it is being strong-armed by the US government into staying away from a Chinese partner. Huawei recently told Reuters its top priority is the security and privacy of its customers. Chinese telecom firms have long found it hard to crack the US market, and that's unlikely to change with President Trump looking for ways to fix what he sees as an unfair trading relationship that favors China over the US.