Best Buy plans to stop selling Huawei smartphones
According to a recent report, Best Buy has 'ceased ordering' new Huawei smartphones, likely due to the same government pressure that caused AT&T and Verizon to cancel their carrier deals.
The report from CNET further adds that Best Buy was the one who made the call to end its partnership with the Chinese smartphone maker. The chain has allegedly stopped ordering new smartphones from Huawei and will cease sales in the next few weeks.
The move comes several weeks after AT&T and Verizon were said to have ditched Huawei phones under pressure from the American government, which is concerned that Huawei might use its devices to spy on behalf of China. There was a 2012 report accusing Huawei and ZTE of making devices that could pose a security threat, but it never mentioned smartphones and has never been supplemented with definitive evidence.
However, the US lawmakers and intelligence agencies have advised against buying Huawei phones citing national security concerns. The government has even put pressure on mobile service providers like AT&T and Verizon to cancel their carrier deals with Huawei.
It is possible that Best Buy is facing similar heat, but there's no confirmation that this is the case; it could also reflect a purely profit-oriented decision.
Spokespeople from both Best Buy and Huawei offered no relevant comment to CNET when reached out to for comment. In a statement from Best Buy, "We don't comment on specific contracts with vendors, and we make decisions to change what we sell for a variety of reasons". Huawei also declined to get into specifics but referred to the retailer as a "valued partner".
It goes without saying that this is a huge blow to Huawei's US presence, especially considering that Best Buy was virtually the only place US consumers could physically view Huawei phones.
It is unclear whether Huawei's Honor line is affected. Retailers such as Amazon, B&H, Newegg still offer Huawei devices through their online store for those in the US who wish to purchase them.