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Huawei of China hit by the last-minute collapse of the AT & T telephone distribution agreement

HONG KONG (Reuters) – An agreement by which the US operator AT & T Inc sold smartphones manufactured by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] collapsed at the last moment, people with knowledge of the matter said, in a big setback for the global ambitions of the Chinese firm.

A separate person, familiar with the discussions, said security concerns had arisen without giving further details.

AT & T was pressured to abandon the agreement after members of the US Senate and the House intelligence committees sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission on December 20 alleging concerns about Huawei's plans to launch products of consumption through news site The information reported.

Huawei said in a statement to Reuters on Tuesday that its flagship Mate 10 Pro flagship smartphone – Huawei's challenge for the iPhone – will not be sold in the United States through a telecom operator but only through channels open

"The US market presents unique challenges for Huawei, and although the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro will not be sold by US operators, we remain committed to this market now and in the future," said the giant. of electronics in a statement.

Huawei was widely expected to announce a partnership with AT & T to distribute its phones in the United States this year, said people with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified because the conversations were private. AT & T declined to comment.

The Mate 10 Pro, launched in Europe in October at a price of 799 euros ($ 955), comes with chips enhanced with artificial intelligence that Huawei, the world's third-largest smartphone provider, claims to process data faster than used by Apple and Samsung.

But the collapse of the agreement with AT & T, reported for the first time by the Wall Street Journal, will mean that Huawei will probably have trouble obtaining a success from its smartphones there since an American mobile operator would typically promote the products. and it would also provide subsidies. and special package deals.

In 2012, Huawei and ZTE Corp were the subject of a US investigation. UU Which analyzed whether the corporate team provided an opportunity for greater foreign espionage and threatened critical US infrastructure. UU., A link that Huawei has systematically denied.

($ 1 = 0.8363 euros)

Reports of Sijia Jiang in Hong Kong; Additional reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco, Anjali Athavaley in New York, David Shepardson in Washington, D.C. and Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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