After hitting some stumbling blocks early in 2018, new reports say that Huawei may be scaling back its efforts in the U.S.
Huawei has laid off five U.S. employees, including William Plummer, its top U.S. spokesman in Washington, D.C. That’s according to reports from both The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, with the former adding that Huawei is also scaling back its political outreach in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the FCC has voted to go forward with a new rule that would block federally subsidized carriers from using supplies from companies that are thought to pose a risk to U.S. national security. Huawei isn’t mentioned specifically in the proposed rule, but given the rumors that the U.S. government recently pressured AT&T and Verizon to drop plans to carry Huawei’s flagship Mate 10 Pro, it’s hard not to think that Huawei is a target of this rule.
“Some things cannot change their course according to our wishes,” Huawei deputy chairman Eric Xu told to analysts this week. “With some things, when you let them go, you actually feel more at ease.”
Huawei has never had a huge presence in the U.S., and in recent years, the company has largely stuck to selling its phones unlocked through retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. Now that AT&T, Verizon, and Best Buy have all backed away from selling Huawei devices, though, the company may not feel that the effort it has been putting forth in the U.S. is worth it and place less of a focus on the country as a result.