Huawei CEO discusses Mate Pro 10 smartphone

Las Vegas, Nev. — CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group Richard Yu spent the better part of an hour boasting the features of the company’s new Mate Pro 10 smartphone during a keynote presentation at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Tuesday before addressing what was really on everyone’s mind.

News had surfaced the day before that AT&T had backed out of a deal to sell Huawei’s Mate Pro 10 for $799. Huawei is the third-biggest phone maker in the world falling shortly behind Samsung and Apple.  Although the company is widely known around the globe, it is less well known in the U.S. market. The deal with AT&T — one of the biggest carriers in the country — was meant to change that.

“It is a big loss for us and also for carriers but more for consumers,” said Yu during the keynote. “Huawei has proved its quality and security.” The remark was the most Yu touched on the AT&T fallout during the talk, placing some responsibility on the shoulders of U.S. carriers.

Last month, Yu told the Associated Press in an interview, “We will sell our flagship phone, our product, in the U.S. market through carriers next year. I think that we can bring value to the carriers and to consumers. Better product, better innovation, better user experience.”

AT&T succumbed to pressures to back out of the deal after members of the U.S. Senate and House intelligence committees sent a letter on Dec. 20 to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which cited concerns about Chinese espionage and Huawei’s role in that alleged spying, according to Reuters.

“Private-sector entities in the United States are strongly encouraged to consider the long-term security risks associated with doing business with either ZTE or Huawei for equipment or services,” noted the report. “Based on available classified and unclassified information, Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems.”

While Yu did not comment on the report directly, he did place emphasis on security during the CES keynote, stating “privacy and security are always our first priority. We are compliant with the world’s most stringent privacy protection frameworks.”

Verizon was also expected to sell Huawei’s Mate Pro 10 this summer; although, the company is reportedly considering scrapping the deal in wake of the AT&T ordeal. Customers can still preorder the Mate 10 Pro beginning February 4 through Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft, Newegg and B&H.

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