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Best Buy Confirms It’s Killing Sales of Huawei Smartphones

By on April 27, 2018

The third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world has hit a major setback in its plans to expand to the U.S.

Best Buy will reportedly cease orders new of smartphones from Chinese OEM Huawei and will stop selling the firm’s devices “over the next few weeks,” a source familiar with the situation told CNET earlier today. Best Buy confirmed the decision with USA Today.

The retailer did not expand on why it’s making the change. “We don’t comment on specific contracts with vendors, and we make decisions what we sell for a variety of reasons,” a Best Buy spokesperson said. Huawei similarly declined to comment on the specifics, simply telling CNET that Best Buy is a “valued partner.”

It’s a major blow to Huawei, which has struggled to gain any sort of market presence in the U.S.

Best Buy was, notably, Huawei’s last major retail partner in the country. Additionally, Huawei has been unable to get a U.S. carrier to sell its products. It’s worth noting that carrier sales are the most common way Americans obtain new smartphones.

Earlier this year, a proposed deal with AT&T fell through due to U.S. government pressure. Specifically, officials are concerned about that the Chinese government could use smartphones and other tech products that are produced locally as espionage devices.

Part of that pressure has come from the U.S. intelligence community. At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last month, the directors of the NSA, FBI and CIA — among others — urged Americans not to purchase devices from Chinese manufacturers like Huawei or ZTE, citing security concerns.

Huawei said in a statement that it has a “proven history of delivering products that meet the highest security, privacy and engineering standards in the industry.” The company added that its devices have been certified by the FCC for sale in the U.S.

“Our products are sold by 46 of the top 50 global operators, and we have won the trust and confidence of individuals and organizations in 170 countries around the world,” Huawei said. “We are committed to earning that same trust with U.S. consumers and making our products accessible in as many ways as possible.”

As of the writing of this article, Huawei’s latest Mate 10 Pro flagship was still available on BestBuy.com for around $700. It’s also being sold on Amazon, Newegg and BandH.